Drug trafficker jailed after going on the run

A FORMER Gladstone miner who went on the run last month after learning what sentences his co-accused received for their role in a drug trafficking ring on the Sunshine Coast has finally had to face the music.

Caloundra man Shannon Lee Watt, 27, pleaded guilty earlier this year in the Brisbane Supreme Court to a host of drug offences committed between May 17, 2012, and August 22, 2012, at Kings Beach on the Sunshine Coast.

He claimed his foray into the Sunshine Coast drug world only occurred after learning his partner, who is the mother of his infant child, had cheated on him while he was working in Gladstone.

Watt was due to be sentenced in July, but after sitting in court for more than three hours watching what sentences his co-accused, Julia-Kate Alison Sparks and Michael David Scott, received he decided to run.

A warrant was immediately issued for his arrest.

Crown Prosecutor Clare Hurley told the court on Wednesday Watt came to the attention of authorities during a statewide police crackdown called Operation Juliet Tangent.

"He was trafficking methamphetamine over a four-month period in what could be best described as at a street level," she said.

"He had at least 14 regular customers.

"He is also the last of three people who have already been sentenced as a result of this operation."

Justice Debra Mullins sentenced Watt to three years and seven months behind bars.

She ordered he be released after serving 11 months.


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