An "naive" Oak Flats tradie who illegally imported three air rifles from the United States via post will be released from jail on parole in less than a month.
Mitchell Fitton, 19, was handed a seven-month prison sentence in Wollongong court on Friday after admitting he ordered the guns from a company in Minnesota in November 2019 intending on having them shipped to his address in Oak Flats.
However, Magistrate Claire Girotto agreed to backdate Fitton's sentence to start from when he was first brought into custody in March, meaning with time served, he will be released on October 4. Fitton will then spend six months on parole.
Magistrate Girotto accepted he had been "riddled with naivety" when buying the guns.
An agreed set of police facts tendered to Wollongong Local Court said Fitton ordered the guns online from a company called Airsoft Stations, which ships guns, gun parts and accessories worldwide.
The accused was of the belief it was not an offence to import these items as he could easily purchase them online from a companyThe police facts
The parcel made it into Australia but was stopped and inspected by Australian Border Force and Customs officials at their Sydney holding facility on February 27.
Inside the box officials discovered a Ruger Blackhawk .177 calibre soft air rifle, a Smith and Wesson brand 0.177 calibre air pistol, and a Umarex Ux Brodax .177 calibre soft air revolver.
The court heard Fitton had declared the goods as "toys" on the import form.
The items were seized by Customs. All are considered firearms under the law, despite being air pistols.
Police raided Fitton's Wentworth Street home on March 5, uncovering 16 cannabis plants, 11g of ecstasy and 568g of cannabis.
They also discovered cannabis seeds, a slingshot, fireworks, two counterfeit $50 notes and three tins of ammunition.
When asked about the guns, Fitton admitted buying the items, saying he was of the belief he wasn't doing anything wrong.
"The accused was of the belief it was not an offence to import these items as he could easily purchase them online from a company," the agreed facts said.
"If it was illegal, then he was of the opinion he would not be able to purchase them."
The court heard Fitton also admitted the ecstasy, which he referred to as "pingers", was partly for personal use, partly for supply.
Fitton pleaded guilty to 12 charges, including importing prohibited goods, drug supply, cultivating cannabis and possessing explosives.