A Newstead man was trying to raise funds to pay off a two-year-old drug debt when his home was raided by police in 2019, the Supreme Court in Launceston heard.
Joshua John Atkinson, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, namely cannabis, methylamphetamine and MDMA and one count of dealing in the proceeds of crime on November 13.
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Crown prosecutor John Ransom said police found $31,085 in cash and drugs worth more than $62,000 when they searched the bedroom at his Strahan Road home. The drugs were found in lengths of PVC pipe along with electronic scales and ammunition in snaplock bags.
Atkinson's poor record included a wholly suspended six-month jail sentence in 2008 for attacking a man with a machete.
There was also a wholly suspended four-month jail sentence for drug trafficking in 2013 and a conviction in 2017 for trafficking in controlled drugs and firearm offences.
In 2017 drugs worth $150,000 and $15,000 in cash was seized but Atkinson received a Drug Treatment Order rather than a two-year prison term.
Mr Ransom told Chief Justice Alan Blow that it was concerning that Atkinson had been the beneficiary of the Drug Treatment Order but had elected to continue commercial involvement in the sale of illegal drugs.
Defence counsel Olivia Jenkins said that after his bust in 2017 the drug debt to the supplier did not disappear.
"He was selling this time to extricate himself from the debt," she said.
She said he was fearful for the safety of his pregnant partner after receiving threats.
"This was an isolated event in which the debt would be cleared and the funds passed to the relevant people," Ms Jenkins said.
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During the plea in mitigation, Chief Justice Blow remarked: "If you sentence a trafficker what you do is create a vacancy but that does not mean they should get off lightly."
She said Atkinson's selling was distinct from continuous selling and asked for him to be considered for a home detention order. She said he had a history of illicit substance abuse starting at the age of 16.
In 2015 Chief Justice Blow sentenced Atkinson to 10 months jail after a police officer caught him with a loaded handgun as he was about to burgle a newsagency. He said it was a very serious example of the crime of being prepared for the commission of a crime.
He remanded Atkinson in custody for sentence on February 11, 2021, at 2.15pm. "I am considering a partly suspended sentence and will seek an assessment report for a home detention order," he said.