Drug kingpin has sentence reduced by two years

A BRAZEN drug kingpin has had two years knocked off his jail term after successfully arguing his Rockhampton enterprise was not worth the $1.665 million suggested during his sentencing.

Jason Robert Ryan's sentence was reduced from 12 to 10 years for trafficking drugs, mostly amphetamines, after building a crew he wanted to operate like "gangstas".

He organised a property in Western St, Rockhampton, to sell drugs after his crew's cars and houses began overflowing with drugs from their booming operation.

His lawyers argued in the Queensland Court of Appeal that the drug turnover could not have been anywhere near the figure suggested at sentence.

The Crown prosecutor conceded an error had been made but suggested any sentence reduction should not be less than 11 years.

Justice Margaret McMurdo, in a judgment handed down on Tuesday, said she could not accept the turnover involved at least hundreds of thousands of dollars and probably in excess of $1 million, as the sentencing judge found.

She said this estimate turned on the calculation of the likely price Ryan paid for the drug.

"The error is likely to have inflated his Honour's apprehension of the seriousness of the appropriate sentence," she said.

While there was evidence Ryan had paid $75,000 to buy amphetamines, there was only one transaction where he sold them for $10,000 an ounce.

The rest of the transactions were for sales between $4500 and $7000 an ounce.

The original facts schedule stated the street value of the purchased ecstasy was between $2975 and $4760 while the marijuana was worth between $1600 to $2800.

Justice McMurdo also pointed to the totality principle, finding the 12-year sentence combined with his four-year sentence for shooting a woman near a Rockhampton hotel was too harsh and crushing.

Ryan was on bail for attempting to murder that woman while he was trafficking drugs but a jury convicted him of the lesser charge of wounding.

The victim had suggested to police officers that Ryan might have drugs on him.

For that, she was harassed at her hotel and shot with a sawn-off .22 rifle. One shot hit her in the left arm only centimetres from her heart.


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