Snapchat drug trafficker’s dopey holiday plan
UNEMPLOYED, yet desperate for a US holiday, Michael Jamie Lowe got very close to paying for his overseas trip by trafficking cannabis.
But after police stumbled across his drug dealing scheme, the only trip he'll be taking is to jail.
On Wednesday morning, Townsville District Court heard how Lowe, 24, was intercepted by police while driving through Cranbrook on February 8, 2019.
A search of the vehicle uncovered $650 in cash, with Lowe confessing to police that the money came from the sale of drugs.
Police seized his phone and raided his house, uncovering significant evidence of his drug dealing activities.
Lowe pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in dangerous drugs, four counts of possessing a dangerous drug, two counts of receiving or possessing property obtained from trafficking or supplying and possessing anything used in the commission of crime, and a count of possess utensils that had been used.
Crown Prosecutors Monique Sheppard said police located almost $4,000 in cash, 13 MDMA tablets, 3g of tetrahydrocannabinol, 350g of cannabis, just under a gram of cocaine, various drug utensils and digital scales.
Preferring to communicate through the app Snapchat to avoid detection by authorities, Ms Sheppard said Lowe as a "rigorous trafficker", buying large quantities to maximise his margins, and onselling to multiple customers per day.
She described him as "gleeful" in the way he proactively advertised the quantity and quality of his drugs during a five-month trafficking period between September 2018 and February 2019.
Defence Barrister Dane Marley tendered several character references and lab results from 13 clean drug tests to demonstrate his client's rehabilitation progress and strong work ethic.
Given Lowe's youth, absence of criminal history, early plea, frank admissions to police, genuine remorse, and lack of further law-breaking, he urged Judge Coker not to undo his client's progress with a period of actual imprisonment.
Judge John Coker said he "agonised" over his decision whether to grant a rare exemption preventing Lowe from going behind bars, balanced against the community's expectations for judges to come down hard on drug trafficking - which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years behind bars.
He sentenced Lowe to 2.5 years imprisonment, with an earlier parole eligibility date on September 23, 2021.
Originally published as Snapchat drug trafficker's dopey holiday plan