Drug dealer sent about 50 text messages a day for dealing
"WE LOVE you." They were the teary last words Whetu Marley Tokotaua heard from his extended family yesterday as he was taken from Rockhampton Supreme Court after being sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
Described as a high-end street dealer, 28-year-old Tokotaua pleaded guilty to trafficking dangerous drugs with offences dating from May 26 to August 3 in 2013.
Messages on a mobile phone used by Tokotaua during those dates referred to a number of "drops", collection of debts and even a threat of violence in relation to an unpaid supply, with 40 different numbers in the phone contacted.
There were references to substantial quantities of drugs which included methamphetamines, cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine, high purity of those drugs, offers to introduce clients to new drugs, and mention of a $23,500 debt.
It was estimated that of about 50 texts sent a day about 10 were drug related.
Legal Aid representative Tom Polley described how Tokotaua, of Rockhampton, had been a regular user of cannabis from age 15.
He was first introduced to methamphetamines while working in Gladstone, as a way to deal with 12-hour working days and a commute to and from home.
Becoming a regular user, and going backwards financially, Mr Polley said Tokotaua owed money to "heavy people" and there was pressure to pay, so he started selling.
Justice Duncan McMeekin said it was obviously a serious case of trafficking that affected not only Tokotaua's life, but that of his family.
"You probably realise more than anyone how much you have let your family down," Justice McMeekin said. "You ended up in a spiral taking you all the way down."
Tokotaua's five-year sentence will be suspended after two years.