David Mark Williams has avoided prison time after pleading guilty to trafficking drugs and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Instead, the 38-year-old scaffolder will undertake a two-year drug and alcohol treatment order (DOTA), a process Acting Justice Verity McWilliam described as “no picnic”.
“This is going to be really hard for you,” she said to Mr Williams during sentencing.
“But you need to do it for a chance at a crime-free life, so good luck.”
On 7 December, 2020, police were granted search warrants for Mr Williams’ white Ford Raptor and five properties across Canberra’s south on suspicion he was dealing methylamphetamine.
Mr Williams’ vehicle was stopped by police at a Calwell address, where police discovered about $134,000 in cash in a bag on his front seat, along with roughly 790 grams of methylamphetamine.
According to court documents, if the drugs equated to roughly 7900 street deals, they would have netted almost $500,000.
If sold wholesale, they would have been worth about $79,000.
During a search of the properties, police seized a jet-ski, three motorcycles, a heavily-modified vehicle and other items worth more than half a million dollars, all believed to be proceeds of crime, along with a semi-automatic rifle.
Acting Justice McWilliam said this indicated Mr Williams’ level of culpability was “significant”.
“The offender’s role was more significant than that of a street-level offender,” she said.
Mr Williams pleaded guilty to trafficking a controlled drug other than cannabis and dealing with the proceeds of crime on 10 September, 2021.
The court heard Mr Williams had a long-standing drug habit which he had not previously received formal treatment for, which was considered a factor in his offending.
“There is an obvious cycle of trafficking and [drug] dependence,” Acting Justice McWilliam said.
“[You are] clearly struggling to avoid relapse and the offending that goes with it.
“So I am prioritising intervention.”
Acting Justice McWilliam said successful rehabilitation of Mr Williams would, in her view, be the best way to protect the community in the future.
Mr Williams will be subject to a good behaviour order at the end of the DOTA until 30 April, 2025.
A 37-month prison sentence would have been imposed if he was deemed unsuitable for the program.