Senior police officer supplies drug user with reference
A FORMER Sydney man busted picking up a parcel of MDMA from a Central Queensland post office had a reference letter from the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) of a police station, tendered in court.
Rhys Cambridge Fraser, 31, pleaded guilty today in the Supreme Court at Rockhampton to one count of possessing a dangerous drug in excess of two grams, eight possessing a dangerous drug, one of possessing tainted property and one of possessing an item used in the commission of a crime.
Fraser was caught with 17.038g of pure MDMA in 27.693g of crystal substance in a parcel, outside the Blackwater Australia Post office after he ordered it to be sent in the mail.
Police then searched his unit, finding 64 steroid tablets, one gram of marijuana, a small amount of cocaine restricted drugs, syringes, clip-seal bags and some vials of another steroid, along with $2170 cash.
Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said it was accepted some of the MDMA was for personal use, but not all.
She said it was clear from the reference letter from the OIC Blackwater station, Sergeant Matthew Dux, that he had not been told of Fraser's prior conviction in the Sydney District Court in August 2013, for three supply drug charges and possessing many prohibited drugs.
Justice Graeme Crow said the police officer's letter stated he had known Fraser since his arrival in Blackwater in January 2019, but did not know him personally.
He said the officer outlined he knew Fraser through his volunteer work in the community, particularly his tireless work following the suspected COVID-19 death in May, and helping set up testing sites.
"It's very rare for a police officer to provide a reference for someone in your position," Justice Crow said.
The court heard Fraser, who attended Cronulla High School until Year 12, had become involved in drugs due to the gym scene - using steroids from the age of 24.
He started using MDMA when he was 26 recreationally.
Fraser moved to Blackwater for a job in the mines and ordered the drugs online as he did not know who to buy them from in town.
Fraser lost his job at the mines when he was charged with these matters.
He did gain employment working in parks and street maintenance for Central Highlands Regional Council and had been on bail for 13 months with any bail breaches or reoffending.
Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said his client had made "meaningful, protracted efforts at rehabilitation" which included 11 phone sessions (due to COVID-19 restrictions) with drug rehabilitation service Lives Lived Well, past eight drug tests between May 6 and August 18, 2020, and had made friends - four of which were in court in support of Fraser today.
Mr Ahlstrand said since being charged, Fraser had been clean of drugs, losing 20 kgs of muscle.
He said his parents - his father, Paul, a retired chief financial officer and his mother, Dolly, a interior decorator in Sydney - would have been in court also if not for the border closures.
The court heard Fraser had a childhood trauma from when he was five-years-old and was medicated for depression from the age of seven onwards.
Justice Crow said he had grappled with whether or not to sentence Fraser to serve part of his prison term in a correctional centre, with the risk of hindering his rehabilitation efforts and possible loss of job.
"People who are working tend not to reoffend," he said.
Justice Crow sentenced Fraser to 2.5 years prison with immediate parol release.