Former bikie boss admits to drug trafficking

A FORMER bikie boss has entered a last-minute plea of guilty to drug trafficking.

Jason Noel Browning, 46, was president of the Hobart chapter of outlaw bikie gang the Rebels when he was snared in the high-profile drug sting.

Operation Dorothy smashed a drug ring of a scale that authorities say is rarely seen in Tasmania. 

Dorothy's biggest scalp has been the former president of the Launceston and Tasmanian chapters of the Rebels,  Colin David Picard,  who was jailed for three years in 2013.

It also all but spelt the end for the Launceston Rebels, their clubhouse now a boarded up shell at Kings Meadows. 

Picard was busted after selling nearly 36 ounces of meth to bikie clubs in Tasmania. 

One customer was the defendant, who ordered six ounces of meth over the course of about six months in 2011. Browning only got three of the ounces after the others were seized by police, Crown prosecutor John Ransom told Launceston's Supreme Court yesterday. 

Mr Ransom said the street value of those ounces ranged between  $13,500 and $42,000 based on the different ways they could be sold. 

Police phone taps revealed the criminal relationship between Picard and Browning.

In one instance Picard sent a text to Browning asking ``how light in colour were those T-shirts I sent down''.

Mr Ransom said Picard had been using a code to ask how underweight the ounces he sold Browning were.

The court heard Browning had previously been convicted on drug matters, including one offence that led to a wholly suspended three-month jail term in late 2010. 

Defence counsel Craig Rainbird categorised his client's role as being outside the drug network that was the focus of operation Dorothy.

Mr Rainbird said his client had bought the drugs mainly for personal use.

Browning became a member of the Rebels when he was 29 first in Geeveston before moving to the Hobart chapter when he relocated to Sandy Bay.

He began using meth and became an addict.

Mr Rainbird said Browning had since changed his ways and taken steps to become a law-abiding citizen.

In 2013 he severed ties with the Rebels and now runs cattle on a Geeveston property, Mr Rainbird said. 

He said Browning spent $12,000 a year on private school fees for his child.

Justice David Porter remanded Browning in custody for sentence on April 8.

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