THE LINCHPIN of a party drug ring in Armidale has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Shannon Wylie, 22, was convicted of 17 charges including four for sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl in the district court.
A police investigation into Wylie and his associates began in August 2017 to trace the supply of MDA, MDMA, methylamphetamine, cannabis and cocaine in the Armidale region.
A drug-deal that went wrong resulted in Wylie being charged with intimidation with intent to cause physical and mental harm, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Between January 2018 and October, a male, a known-associate of Wylie, bought ten MDMA tablets for $300, but the only male only paid $100 of the $300 he owed.
In the coming weeks Wylie continued to message the male, until fed up with the lack of payment he went to his family home. It was there that he told the man's family he was a "piece of shit" and was going to kill him.
A few months later things came to a head at a party in Uralla, when Wylie punched the man and he fell to the ground.
Judge Warwick Hunt said he was convinced Wylie was a street level dealer who was essentially the "principal of his own small drug distribution operation".
"Happily, the majority of the drugs involved were MDA or MDMA rather than the more pernicious methylampethamine [speed] which has so damaged both rural and metropolitan communities," he said.
"MDMA and MDA are what are commonly known as party drugs, although they render their own degree of devastation in the community as can be seen by this offender's decline at the effect of those drugs and getting involved in these kinds of matters."
An undercover police operative then started to source party drugs from Wylie in between June and December 2018 in large quantities, for which Wylie would have made a total of $45,200.
It was around this time that Wylie had sex with a 14-year-old four times.
Wylie sold party drugs to the victim a few times, including once in the McDonald's car park.
Wylie continued to engage with the undercover police officer and his other clients.
There were a number of other deals Wylie made, and during a search of his home in Armidale police seized more than $23,000 in proceeds of crime.
Before his arrest, Wylie had only ever received two tickets for minor traffic offences.
The court heard Wylie grew up with a father addicted to alcohol and gambling that meant the family was often short of money. He was introduced to recreational drugs as a DJ.
Wylie was convicted on 17 charges. He will be eligible for release on parole in June 2022.