A HORSE-wrangler has been jailed for seven years for supplying more than half-a-kilogram of the drug ice and possessing a cache of guns near Tamworth.
Ronald Kenneth Ramsay was facing life behind bars for the drug supply after police raided the Bithramere property on September 8, 2015, uncovering 630.5g of methylamphetamine.
Ramsay admitted to supplying more than 500g of ice which is not less than a large commercial quantity – a charge the government upped the maximum penalty to life imprisonment just eight days before his arrest.
The Bithramere-based horse-wrangler and truck driver also admitted to possessing a semi-automatic pistol and an unregistered Winchester rifle and silencers.
Ramsay, who has already served two years in custody, was sentenced in Armidale District Court to a maximum of seven years in prison for five drug and firearm offences, while six other charges were taken into account.
Judge Deborah Payne jailed Ramsay after hearing evidence from him in a sentencing hearing that spanned several days across two courts.
But he will be eligible for parole in 2020 after serving four-and-a-half years. Judge Payne found there was special circumstances including the time he spent in custody without his former solicitor reading him his brief of evidence, or preparing him for his trial.
Ramsay, a self-confessed ice user, said he was smoking about 2g of the drug a day. He said he found the ice stashed behind a hot water system in a horse float trailer that he’d gone to Queensland to pick up for a friend who had been locked up by police.
He also told police during the raid that he removed the drugs that were in various packets and put them in the house.
In sentencing submissions, Ramsay’s solicitor said there was no specific number on how much of the drug Ramsay would supply to friends and family because “there was no specific plan”.
Judge Payne ordered the firearms be forfeited for destruction with Ramsay eligible for parole in March, 2020.