A Horsley man agreed to pick up a package containing almost 500 grams of the powerful sedative known as ketamine from a Figtree post office because he wanted to pay off his cocaine debt, a court has heard.
Shayne Anthony Morse, 47, plead guilty to two Commonwealth drug possession charges in Wollongong Local Court on Thursday following his arrest in July last year.
In agreed facts tendered to court, Australian Border Force officials intercepted a suspicious package from the United Kingdom in June that was addressed to a home in West Wollongong.
Inside they found a bottle of baby powder, which contained a white substance that tested positive for ketamine.
NSW Police took over the case on July 4 and substituted the drugs with other white powder before arranging for the package to be delivered to the intended home in Cochrane Street. The resident at the address did not accept the package.
Later that day, and again on July 16, an unknown person called Australia Post to inquire about the package.
On July 18, police then took the package to the Australia Post Office in Figtree where the manager was told to call the number detailed on the delivery to say the package had arrived and was ready for pick-up.
A person answered and told the manager a man would collect the package. That person then called Morse instructing him to go to the Figtree post office.
Morse drove to the store shortly after, picked up the package then was observed by police discarding all the contents except for the baby powder bottle when back in his car before returning to his Sheaffers Road home where he was arrested by officers.
Police searched Morse's car where they seized the bottle, his phone and 0.03g of cocaine.
Officers also found a protein powder container behind the front passenger's seat containing 1 kilogram of almost 80 per cent pure ketamine.
In his police interview, Morse told officers the phone was given to him by "a guy" who had imported the baby powder bottle and that he picked up the package to pay off his debt for his "cocaine addiction".
"The guy I get my coke off, I owe him a fair bit of money," Morse said. "I [had] to go pick up stuff.
When asked by the police officer whether he knew what was inside the package, Morse replied "I don't to be honest. I don't know, but I figure it's some sort of drugs".
"Because that's who I was buying it off," he said. "I just wanted to get out of the debt I owe to him."
Morse denied inquiring about the package with Australia Post.
He was charged with one count of attempt to possess a marketable quantity of an unlawful imported substance, being a border control drug, namely Ketamine.
And one count of possessing a substance, that is reasonable suspected of having been unlawfully imported, being a border controlled drug, namely Ketamine, and the quantity possessed being a marketable quantity.
Morse, who is on bail, is scheduled to be sentenced for the two charges in Wollongong District Court on April 3.