A glamorous single mum has escaped a full-time jail sentence after she was busted selling an opioid detox drug to a fellow Illawarra dealer who allegedly used upmarket hotel rooms to ply his trade.
Dapto's Codi Therese Burke admitted selling 52 strips of buprenorphine to alleged drug kingpin Robert Losco for $780 at the start of the year, unaware their movements were being recorded by drug squad police.
Buprenorphine, which goes by the street name "bupe", is used to treat heroin and methadone withdrawal and at times, severe pain.
Court documents said detectives set up Strike Force Aperta in October 2018 to investigate the supply of methylamphetamine and GHB in the region.
They allegedly pinpointed Losco as the syndicate's head operator and main supplier, accusing him of setting up shop in hotel and short stay rooms hoping to avoid detection.
Police will allege Losco was recorded selling almost 300 grams of ice between October and early January when he, Burke and his alleged runner, Peter Ryan, were arrested during a raid on the Headlands Hotel at Austinmer.
Burke had booked the hotel on Losco's behalf and checked in earlier in the day, with CCTV allegedly capturing Losco and Ryan carrying bags into the room.
Burke was charged with drug supply offences. She was initially released on bail however was returned to custody in mid-July after turning up to court in Wollongong in a stolen Mazda CX-5 being driven by a friend.
Burke pleaded guilty to both sets of offences in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday, with defence lawyer Maria Wallis saying her client's time behind bars had been a sobering one.
"She tells me it's been a massive wake-up call for her," Ms Wallis said.
"She has no intention of continuing to associate with the co-accused in these matter."
The court heard Burke had been motivated to sell the 'bupe' by her own drug addiction problems.
"There's a real need here for her to receive [drug and alcohol] assistance and support," Ms Wallis said.
Magistrate Mark Douglass said all reports indicated the "short, sharp shock" of two months behind bars had been a catalyst for Burke to made changes in her life.
He sentenced her to a 13-month community-based intensive corrections order.
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