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    A Sydney socialite will appeal his sentence for supplying a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs after receiving an eight-year jail term.

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      supplying commercial quantity prohibited drugs

      Sydney Socialite Jailed for Supplying Commercial Quantity of Prohibited Drugs

      A Sydney socialite will appeal his sentence for supplying a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs after receiving an eight-year jail term.

      Matthew James Doyle pleaded guilty to supplying over 300kg of drugs and dealing with over $500,000 in proceeds of crime.

      The 33-year-old was arrested in 2019 after he told undercover police he was willing to assist with the drug importation.

      Two co-offenders were also caught in the operation.

      Undercover Operation Nabs Matthew James Doyle

      Matthew James Doyle appeared at the Downing Centre where it was revealed that he had first met undercover police in Los Angeles in April 2019.

      The former property developer told the police that he was willing to take “tonnes” of product.

      “As I said to you, I’m not a gangster, I’m a businessman…You know I love money. I like making money and I like making friends.”

      The plan became that Doyle would be the Australian touchstone for a cocaine shipment of up to 300kg. The 33-year-old paid a $220,000 deposit for it and then was asked to pay a further $300,000.

      After months of negotiations and reassurances that he was willing to take on the cocaine, Doyle and two acquaintances were arrested when they arrived at a Marrickville warehouse to collect the drugs.

      They had taken possession of 50kg of what they thought was cocaine. In fact, it was an inert powder wrapped in duct tape and stamped with Hollywood star signs.

      He was refused bail and has remained in custody since 2019.

      Sentencing for Commercial Quantity Drug Supply

      In his sentencing him for the commercial quantity drug supply, Judge Penny Hock said the Doyle had been motivated by greed.

      It was argued by his criminal lawyer that he should be extended some leniency because the 300kg of drugs Doyle intended to receive never actually existed.

      However, Her Honour found that the fact he had been caught in a ruse did not reduce the seriousness of his offending.

      She described the 33-year-old as the principal participant who had recruited his friends Jared Hart and Raoul Kesby to participate in the scheme.

      Hart’s drug supply lawyers said he was seeking “easy money” in order to pay off a $60,000 tax debt. He was ultimately jailed for a minimum of three years and two months.

      Judge Hock found that Kesby was the “least involved” of the group. He received a non-parole period of two years and 10 months.

      Both men also pleaded guilty to supplying a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs.

      Doyle’s appeal will be mentioned in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on 28 October 2021 before returning for hearing in March 2022.

      Doyle had already served more than two years in jail since his sentence was backdated to the day he was taken into custody on September 4, 2019. He will be eligible for parole in September 2024.

      Supplying Commercial Quantity Prohibited Drugs

      Section 25(1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) sets out that if you knowingly took part in the process of supplying, or agreeing to supply a prohibited drug, you can be guilty of an offence.

      You can fight a supply prohibited drug charge in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

      1. You engaged in the supply of a substance, OR
      2. Knowingly took part in the supply of a substance; AND
      3. That substance was a prohibited drug, OR
      4. You believed, or led the recipient to believe that it was a prohibited drug

      If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found ‘not guilty’.

      Despite this there have been a number of recent examples of these charges being dismissed after an accused person retains experienced criminal defence lawyers. You can read about them by clicking here. Having the best drug lawyers will go a long way towards beating these charges. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email info@astorlegal.com.au.

      We have offices throughout the Sydney metropolitan area where you can speak to Sydney, Liverpool and Criminal Lawyers in Parramatta. We can arrange a conference for you with a Law Society Accredited Specialist in drug offences. You can read some recent cases by clicking here.

      One of the below defences to drug supply charges may also apply:

      1. You weren’t aware that you possessed the drug
      2. Carey defence: You were holding the drug on behalf of another person and intended to give it back to that person (Carey (1990) 50 A Crim R 163)
      3. The substance was not a prohibited drug, AND you did not believe, nor did you hold it out as a prohibited drug
      4. The prohibited drug was for your personal use only
      5. Illegal search: If Police found the drug due to an unlawful search. This may be due to Police not having reasonable grounds to search you, or any warrant(s) they have used being improper or defective
      6. You were not involved in any steps of the supply
      7. No supply has taken place and you had no intention to supply
      8. Duress: You were forced to commit the drug supply

      Unlike possess prohibited drug charges, the maximum penalties for drug supply charges are based on the quantity of the drug.

      For any amount less than the indictable quantity, the maximum penalty for drug supply is 15 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $220,000.

      However, if the case is dealt with in the Local Court, these penalties are reduced to 2 years jail and/or a fine of $5,500.

      For a commercial quantity drug supply, the maximum penalty becomes 20 years jail and/or a fine of $385,000.

      At the top of the range, for large commercial quantity drug supply, the maximum penalty is life imprisonment and/or a fine of $550,000

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