A man caught playing a part in a Shellharbour party drug syndicate just weeks after he was sentenced for selling pills outside Wollongong's Hotel Illawarra will go to jail for at least 11 months, this time around.
Patrolling police found 50 MDMA pills on a visibly shaking, nervous Joshua Kemper, after interrupting him in the midst of a deal outside the hotel on May 9 last year.
He walked free of Wollongong Courthouse on September 24, subject to an intensive corrections order that would require him to perform 200 hours of community service and a live a crime-free life.
Instead, he connected with a drug supply ring whose trade in ecstasy, cocaine and ketamine was the subject of a 10-month strike force investigation by Lake Illawarra Police.
Police have allegedly gathered evidence of dozens of the syndicate's deals and arrested at least six men including Kemper, who appeared before Wollongong District Court on Monday having admitted his role in the ring.
The court heard the 23-year-old, of Lake Heights, was in the front passenger seat of a car involved in a deal in the carpark of the McDonalds at Albion Park Rail on October 17, when almost 140 grams of MDMA changed hands.
The court heard Kemper didn't leave the car as the transaction played out, but that he helped to arrange the time and place.
In sentencing, Judge Gregory Woods considered a psychologist's report attesting to Kemper's "difficult background" and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The judge found Kemper's level of involvement placed his offending below mid-range of seriousness, but that his extremely recent prior offending was "an aggravating factor".
"The present offence was committed in flagrant breach of that ICO only several weeks after that ICO was imposed upon him," he said.
The present offence was committed in flagrant breach of that ICO only several weeks after that ICO was imposed upon him.Judge Gregory Woods
Kemper was ordered to serve one year and eight months behind bars, with a non-parole period of 11 months. With time served, he will become eligible for parole on September 16.
Keiran Daniels, 27, Jarrod Turk, 21, Ryan McAllister, 18 and Brodie Bridge, 21, were among the others charged as part of the same police operation.