Drug runner earns to feed habit, avoids jail time

HE became "a box shopper" and a "drug runner" to feed his own methylamphetamine addiction.

Ipswich man Robert Kevin Dighton, 38, was paid in drugs for the errands and favours he did for his alleged drug supplier Richard Johnson.

He helped source and deliver drugs. He would advise when he saw police vehicles and when to switch phones to avoid detection.

Dighton also helped package the drugs, as well as wash and purify them.

Both men were arrested for drug trafficking once police uncovered the operation in September 2014.

Dighton pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the three months he was involved in the "street-level" business.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard the drug trafficking business that operated for about 18 months in total, was dealing in an ounce of methylamphetamines every two to three weeks, at times an ounce every week.

But Dighton, a father of two, was only involved for about three months.

Crown prosecutor Michael Spencer said Dighton let Johnson store glassware, hypophosphorous acid and iodine - ingredients used to make methylamphetamine - in a storage shed he rented out.

Police also found instructions for making the drug and a stun gun in the shed but Mr Spencer said Johnson had admitted all the items were his.

He said both men were charged with producing the drug in September 2014, noting Dighton sourced boxes of pseudoephedrine for Johnson.

"Each time Mr Johnson provided Mr Dighton with money. He returned with blister packs of pseudoephedrine which Johnson emptied into a container," he said.

"On September 13, Mr Johnson and Mr Dighton discussed having 39 boxes which was pretty much enough for an ounce.

"It was agreed they would do two separate cooks in case one goes bad."

Defence barrister Steve Kissick said his client, who spent 41 days in custody after his arrest, had moved to Townsville with his former RAAF father who did not tolerate drugs.

He said Dighton had found employment and a new circle of friends who undertook outdoor activities instead of "sitting around a house".

Mr Kissick said Dighton played an ancillary role to the drug operation and was undertaking counselling for his addiction.

"He was a customer of Johnson, he was a very badly addicted user of methylamphetamine and he was really Johnson's running boy, for keeping himself in some drugs," he said.

Justice Peter Lyons sentenced him to two years jail, wholly suspended, for the trafficking and 18 months jail, with immediate release on parole, for his involvement in producing drugs.

ARM NEWSDESK



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