How Bitcoin fuelled big Queensland drug operation

A GOLD Coast man who used the name "Weeeeeed" to sell more than $400,000 worth of drugs to 580 people has lost his appeal to have his sentence shortened.

But Jonathan Grey did get an additional 16 days of pre-sentence custody declared against time served.

Grey turned to the Court of Appeal after he was sentenced in the Brisbane Supreme Court last year to nine years prison for the big drug operation on the Gold Coast.

He argued the sentence was "manifestly excessive" as it did not take into account time spent in prison in South Australia for drug offences committed after his Gold Coast operation was busted.

 

In June 2016 the Australian Border Force identified three separate post boxes on the Gold Coast used to import amphetamines and MDMA from the Netherlands.

All were registered with a false name and a fake driver's licence.

Grey, between 2015 and 2016, would advertise the drugs on a dark net web page, using the vendor name "Weeeeeed", and post the drugs to his 585 customers using Australia Post tracking numbers.

He was paid in Bitcoin.

The total amount Grey supplied is unknown but it was linked to an account which totalled more than $400,000 in sales.

Police intercepted the parcels' large quantities of drugs.

Searches were also conducted on Grey's three properties and large amounts of ecstasy, cannabis and cocaine were found on site.

One home had been converted into a "grow house" with rooms full of cannabis plants, chemicals, lights, fans and airconditioning.

"(Grey) and his wife had Porsche and BMW cars, were operating their trafficking and production business from their family home and two other properties and lived a lavish lifestyle from the profit they made from the business," the court documents note.

Australian Border Force identified three separate post boxes used to import amphetamines and MDMA from the Netherlands. File photo.
Australian Border Force identified three separate post boxes used to import amphetamines and MDMA from the Netherlands. File photo.

"Property which was restrained as a result of confiscation proceedings, and subsequently forfeited, totalled $308,887.23."

After the police searches in June 2016, Grey and his wife fled to South Australia.

There, Grey was sentenced to one year and nine months prison for drug-related offences.

He was sentenced in Queensland after completing his South Australian prison time.

Grey's lawyers argued the South Australian sentence should have been taken into account when he was originally sentenced.

Justice Philip Morrison ruled the South Australian sentence had been taken into account.

"The learned sentencing judge expressly took into account the time spent in custody in South Australia when setting the head sentence," Mr Morrison said in his judgment.

"He Honour observed it was open to him to have imposed a sentencing in the range of 10 to 12 years … but to have done so in the face of the time spent in custody in South Australia would have resulted in a crushing sentence of more than 10 years…".

An additional 16 days which was not taken into account at the original sentence was declared as time served. Grey's parole eligibility date remains August 21 next year.

Originally published as How Bitcoin fuelled big Gold Coast drug operation


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