A MAN has been released on parole, after time-served for supplying the drug ice after he was nabbed in a secret police sting in Tamworth.
Cameron John Van der Linden walked from Tamworth District Court and is on parole for the next nine months after he was sentenced for supplying more than seven grams of methylamphetamine in 2017.
Van der Linden, from Port Macquarie, initially denied the charges against him and was set for trial before pleading guilty to supply earlier this year.
DPP solicitor Geoffrey Kidd said a co-offender had drugs found on the same date, but at a house during a search.
“This offender is being sentenced for the drugs located in the car when he was stopped by police,” Mr Kidd said, adding the accused was on an unrelated good behaviour bond at the time.
This offender is being sentenced for the drugs located in the car when he was stopped by police.- DPP solicitor Geoffrey Kidd
Judge Jeffery McLennan said it there was “no evidence of a substantial trafficking”, and the offending was at the lower-end of the scale.
“[On] his own assertion ... he was helping friends to obtain drugs,” he said.
The court heard a number of bags were found in the Mercedes Benz when it was intercepted by police in Tamworth.
He and his then-partner travelled from Port Macquarie to Tamworth on January 5, last year, to purchase drugs.
[On] his own assertion ... he was helping friends to obtain drugs.- Judge Jeffery McLennan
Unbeknownst to Van der Linden, police were carrying out undercover surveillance and watching his every move as he went from a house in Kingswood in Tamworth to Glen Street in Coledale, and then returned to Kingswood.
He was intercepted by police when he left on Goonoo Goonoo Road, about 5pm.
Police said Van der Linden appeared nervous and gave a positive roadside drug test to Methylamphetamine.
Officers had cause to search the car and found 0.2g of crystal methylamphetamine, or “gas”, the court heard.
Six mobile phones were also found in the car, and hidden in an Eclipse mint container tin near the centre console of the car were three small resealable bags containing 7.2g of methylamphetamine in crystal form.
The court heard Van der Linden told police “he was a regular user of the drug” and a preliminary analysis of the phones revealed numerous text messages “consistent with the supply of methylamphetamine”.
He made admissions to helping friends obtain drugs and would receive money or drugs in return for the supplies.
The court heard Van der Linden had abstained from drugs since his arrest, was in a stable relationship, had a job and a strong work ethic, having been continuously employed for most of his adult life.
He started using drugs in 2016 to cope with stress. Judge McLennan said it was clear Van der Linden had reformed his life and “accepted formal responsibility for his offending”.
Van der Linden has already served six months behind bars while awaiting trial. He was jailed for six months, backdated, and will serve nine months on supervised parole, which will expire in March 2019.
A charge of knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime was taken into account in sentencing after the court heard police found a photo of the offender with $10,000 in cash “held out in a fan” in a photo taken in Port Macquarie.
He said “some of the money was from the sale of a bat”.
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