Defence 'probably a lie': Justice

Brisbane Supreme District Court
Brisbane Supreme District Court Rae Wilson

AN IPSWICH marijuana trafficker claimed the $8365 found in a heat-sealed bag in his fridge was part of an inheritance.

Justice Peter Applegarth told Scott Andrew McKlaren, 38, he found that theory "improbable and probably a lie" as he ordered him to serve 14 months of a 4.5-year jail term.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard the Bundamba 38-year-old was a wholesale drug dealer in a multi-million-dollar marijuana syndicate in the Ipswich area.

The syndicate transported about 23kg of marijuana from South Australia to Queensland weekly in vacuum-sealed packs alongside legitimate deliveries, each kilogram selling for $6000 to $8000.

Prime mover Christopher Ronald Cooke was jailed for 7.5 years on Monday for his role at the top of the enterprise which had turned over up to $10 million in 2009.

McKlaren would usually collect about 2.7kg a week, sometimes up to 4kg when he found new buyers or would pool money with friends to get a cheaper rate.

He would deliver the 2.7kg of marijuana weekly to a Toowoomba man who would then distribute it in the Moree area, but McKlaren claimed he was not paid money for passing that on.

Crown prosecutor Clayton Wallis said a police operation netted nine people with McKlaren one of the "customers" who bought large amounts to distribute.

He said McKlaren's name was found on a tick sheet, a list drug dealers use to remember who owes them money, at co-accused Kevin David Black's house.

Mr Wallis said police found phone records showing McKlaren had been communicating with Cook and Black between one and five times a week.

"This was a significant drug syndicate," he said.

"He was a wholesale buyer and seller. He was dealing in significant quantities."

Defence barrister Adrian Donaldson said his client was a father of two who was now estranged from his wife.

He said McKlaren made $5700 profit from the extra drugs he would sometimes get on top of the standard 23kg.

Mr Donaldson said his client initially had an amphetamine problem, ending up in hospital in a drug-induced psychosis in 2005, but turned to pot after his brother died when he feared a relapse to the harder drug.

Topics:  court marijuana

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