He dug opal, but he was cooked by ice

OPAL miner Michael Rozenkranz went from gems to ice but with over eight months behind bars after his arrest for operating a methamphetamine lab at his Miriam Vale home, he has been released.

Rozenkranz, 48, has a growing drug history that stretches from having a cannabis cone into amphetamine use including offences for possession of 52 MDMA pills, to having an ice cook up operation at home.

His criminal history involves offences at Bundaberg and he has been jailed before.

Arrested last August at Miriam Vale after his failure to keep away from Schedule 1 drugs, Rozenkranz pleaded guilty in the District Court at Gladstone this week to production of a dangerous drug on August 12, 2015; and seven other drug related offences.

Crown prosecutor Shauna Rankin revealed his history of convictions, saying he previously traded opals to buy MDMA pills in bulk.

Back in 2012 Rozenkranz was sentenced by the District Court in Bundaberg after methylamphetamine was found at his house and equipment to produce the drug including chemicals like iodine.

He later breached probation on those offences when caught with ice in his car and was sentenced to 12 months jail, most of it suspended.

The Miriam Vale offences then breached his release conditions on the prior matters and he was returned to jail.

Ms Rankin said when police raided his Miriam Vale home drug making equipment and chemicals seized from his clandestine lab included glass condensers, plastic piping, caustic soda, iodine and sulphuric acid.

Rozenkranz told CIB officers that he only cooks the drug for himself, and would buy a box of cold tablets weekly to extract the pseudoephedrine.

There was a child living in the house and a woman who told police she had not known anything about the lab.

Ms Rankin said Rozenkranz was an unlikely candidate for rehabilitation given his inability to comply with court orders.

Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said his client was a non drinker as a result of having alcoholic parents, but after his marriage collapse began using ecstasy and moved on to ice - using "as often as he could afford to get his hands onto it".

Mr Ahlstrand said Rozenkranz began his illicit enterprise to produce the drug for his personal use only to alleviate the costs.

"He wants to remain drug free and be his mother's carer, she suffers ill health," he said.

He sought his immediate release on parole.

Judge David Searles said his mobile phone messages had been analysed and evidence refers to certain words consistent with language of the drug world.

He said Rozenkranz had been on probation at the time for prior drug offences when arrested and had a history of drug abuse.

"You have been given opportunities in the past to rehabilitate but sadly this did not seem to encourage you to do so," Judge Searles said.

"I hope the time spent in prison will assist you in getting the monkey off your back. I wish you well."

He sentenced him to 2 ½ years jail but with 258 days now served Judge Searles ordered that he be released immediately on parole.



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