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    Police are looking to charge a man with the offence of supply large commercial quantity drugs in NSW, after tradies found $44 million worth of ice and $1.1 million cash in a house.

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      drug supply charges NSW

      The Offence of Supplying Large Commercial Quantity of Drugs in NSW

      Police are looking to charge a man with the offence of supply large commercial quantity of drugs in NSW, after tradies found $44 million worth of ice and $1.1 million cash in a house.

      They have released a CCTV image of the man they are searching for.

      A strike force has also been established to investigate the matter.

      Tradies Make Discovery

      The workers were on a job at a unit on Minter Street, Canterbury, south-western Sydney on Friday, 9 July 2021.

      While fixing a leaking toilet pipe, they found a crystal substance and bags of cash stashed in an open cupboard.

      Police were called to the scene and declared the premises a crime scene. Specialist forensic officers attended the unit and examined the residence as well as a locked garage beneath the apartment.

      Officers found and seized 15 cardboard boxes containing almost 220 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine (‘ice’). It is estimated that the street value of it is $44 million and well over the large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs limit.

      NSW Police said almost $1.15 million in cash was discovered on the premises. Some of the money was stored in a grocery bag.

      Search for Person of Interest

      The investigation was initially conducted by local police until detectives from Strike Force Joylyn took over. In February 2022 police issued a fresh appeal for information.

      They since released images of the seized cash and illegal drugs, as well as CCTV images of a man they believe can assist with their inquiries.

      The man is seen walking along Minter Street at about 8.10pm on the day the drugs and cash was discovered.

      He is described as being of Asian appearance and aged between 25 and 30. He is about 170cm tall, of thin build and has short black hair.

      Drug Offences in NSW

      Drug offences in New South Wales are contained under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (‘the Act’).

      Broadly, there are two main categories of offences under the act:

      1. Summary offences. These are less serious offences which must be finalised in the Local Court.

      Sections 10 to 18B of the Act set out these offences which include:

      • Possess prohibited drugs,
      • Possess a tablet press or pill encapsulator,
      • Possess equipment to administer prohibited drugs,
      • Falsifying prescriptions,
      • Possess instructions to produce or manufacture prohibited drugs, and
      • Obtaining prohibited drugs through false representations.
      • Indictable offences. These are serious drug offences that may be dealt with by a higher court – usually the District Court.

      These offences are contained in sections 23 to 25A of the Act which include:

      • Supply prohibited drugs,
      • Ongoing supply of prohibited drugs,
      • Cultivating prohibited plants,
      • Possess apparatus for manufacturing or producing prohibited drugs,
      • Possess prohibited drug precursors, and
      • Manufacturing or producing prohibited drugs.

      Some offences cannot be finalised in the Local Court and must be finalised in the District Court. These are known as strictly indictable offences. These generally involve commercial quantities of prohibited drugs.

      What is a Commercial Quantity of Prohibited Drugs in NSW?

      A commercial quantity of prohibited drugs depends on the type of drug:

      • MDMA (‘ecstacy’) is 125 grams
      • Cocaine, amphetamines or heroin is 250 grams
      • Cannabis is 25 kilograms.

      What is the Maximum Penalty for Supplying a Commercial Quantity of Drugs?

      The maximum penalty for supplying a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs is 20 years imprisonment and/or 3500 penalty units but this is reduced to 15 years and/or 3500 penalty units if the prohibited drug is cannabis.

      Drug lawyers in Sydney explain that a penalty unit in New South Wales is currently $110.

      Commercial Drug Supply

      Supplying a commercial quantity or a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs is a strictly indictable offence.

      To best a commercial quantity drug supply offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person:

      • Supplied, or knowingly took part in the supply of, a substance,
      • That substance was a prohibited drug, and
      • Knew, or believed at the time, that the substance was a prohibited drug

      The definition of ‘supply’ includes:

      • To sell or distribute,
      • To agree or offer to supply,
      • To keep or possess for supply,
      • To send, forward, deliver or receive for supply, or
      • To authorise, direct, cause, suffer, permit or attempt any of the above.

      Knowingly taking part in supply includes:

      • Taking or participating in any step of the supply process, or causing any such step to be taken,
      • Providing or arranging finance for any step in the supply process, or
      • Providing the premises for any step in the supply process, or suffering or permitting any such step to be taken in a premises for which the person is the owner, lessee, occupier or manager.

      What is a Large Commercial Quantity of Drugs in NSW?

      A large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs also depends on the type of drug:

      • MDMA (‘ecstacy’) is 500 grams
      • cocaine, amphetamines or heroin is 1 kilogram
      • cannabis is 100 kilograms

      What is the Maximum Penalty for Supply Large Commercial Quantity of Drugs?

      The maximum penalty for supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs is life in prison and/or 5000 penalty units, or 20 years and/or 5000 penalty units if the offence relates to cannabis.

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