27 August 2021

Garbo who left job due to burnout from running bikie gang jailed over drug trafficking

| Albert McKnight
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ACT Law Courts Photo: Michelle Kroll Region Media

Brett Matthew French, 53, has been sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court. Photo: Michelle Kroll Region Media

A former garbage truck driver who left his job because he was burnt out from working and running an outlaw motorcycle gang at the same time has been jailed for two years after almost 200 grams of meth was found in his shed.

Court documents show police raided Brett Matthew French’s unit in Higgins on 4 January 2021.

Hearing noise inside a shed, they investigated and found the 53-year-old inside with three other men.

A search of the outbuilding found 185 grams of methylamphetamine in a plastic container and a bag, as well as numerous “cutting agents”, various chemicals and an electronic scale.

There was also a comprehensive close-circuit television setup, with cameras around the building transmitting to screens inside.

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Texts from French’s phone showed he had been involved in the sale or supply of drugs since at least Christmas Day 2020.

According to a pre-sentence report, the father of three used to work as a garbage truck driver in Canberra.

But he said he left this job in 2012 because he was burnt out from working full time, as well as being the president of an outlaw motorcycle gang.

He began receiving welfare payments four years later, in 2016, saying he was “financially supported by friends” until then.

French had been involved with the motorcycle gang for six years, but said he ended his association in 2010 and left because he “disliked the politics involved”.

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He told the authors of the pre-sentence report he started selling meth to support his own habit.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of trafficking in a controlled drug other than cannabis.

In the ACT Supreme Court on Friday (27 August), Chief Justice Helen Murrell jailed French for two years.

French was given a non-parole period of 13 months which, taking into account time served, means he is eligible to be released in March 2022.

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