A TAMWORTH cleaner who dealt drugs to one of the key targets in the Tamworth 'ice castle' and hid a handful of guns has been jailed for more than three years.
A self-confessed drug addict, Melanie Caldwell didn't profit from housing the firearms in her home, and she wasn't involved in the dealing of them.
The 42-year-old is being housed in Mary Wade prison and sat silently in Tamworth District Court as her sentence was read out.
"Your client's got nine children; she's got a shocking background," Judge Deborah Payne detailed.
Caldwell pleaded guilty to supplying more than 60g of methylamphetamine - nine separate drug supplies, as well as one offer to supply 28g in one very real deal.
"The only reason that that sale did not take place was a last minute rise in the price," Judge Payne said.
She also supplied three firearms in December 2018 including a .22 calibre Winchester as well as another Winchester rifle, and admitted to possessing a pistol. The court heard her role was to keep the air pistol safe.
Another charge of supplying fentanyl - for which she is addicted - was also taken into account in sentencing.
Caldwell worked for a local cleaning company and was an "associate" of the alleged ringleaders, Stephen Hanshaw and his wife, Rebecca. Both are yet to enter pleas to their charges.
"She got no money for the weapons," Judge Payne said, with the court told the profits went to a co-accused.
"Her role principally was to use her place as a repository," the Crown prosecutor detailed.
"Knowing that they would be sold at some point in the future ... well supplied".
The court heard Caldwell is now 42 but this was her first time behind bars. Her criminal record includes falsifying a prescription for her drug addiction; as well as larceny and driving matters.
She's already spent 405 days since her arrest in the Strike Force Radius sting in May, last year.
She "contributed to packing the firearms" by wrapping them in sheets, which under NSW laws, "falls under the banner of consigning".
"She couldn't put them back together, and tried to get them into the polly pipe until Witness A assisted her," defence barrister Nean Funnell said.
She really had no idea what she was doing ... she had no idea to reassemble the firearms.- Defence barrister Nean Funnell
"She really had no idea what she was doing ... she had no idea to reassemble the firearms".
He said Caldwell had a "limited and unsophisticated role" in the drug ring, and "she didn't seek remuneration" for her involvement.
"It wasn't financial gain, but simply [to] subsidise her own addiction," Mr Funnell said.
Judge Payne said Caldwell was given a 25 per cent discount for her early guilty plea.
She also took into account Caldwell's exposure to domestic violence abuse, and the fact that her upbringing saw her mother jailed; as well as a long history of addiction to drugs stemming back to her 20s.
She jailed Caldwell for a total sentence of three years and three months, dating back to her arrest.
She will have to serve out one year and nine months before bars before parole.
After time served, she will be first eligible for release in February next year.