Man jailed after helping cops buy meth in exchange for weed

AN Airlie Beach man risked jail time for a "couple of buds" of marijuana when he arranged a methylampethamine deal for a pair of undercover cops.

Aaron Bell, 37, pleaded guilty to supplying dangerous drugs in the District Court in Mackay this morning.

Crown prosecutor Russell Hood said that on June 4, 2014, two undercover officers spoke to Bell on an Airlie Beach street about buying "t-shirts", code for methylamphetamine.

He said Bell offered to supply half a gram for $400. The officers gave the money and received a clip seal bag containing 0.229 grams of the drug.

Defence barrister Phillip Moore said the officers had overheard Bell on the street talking about getting drugs for himself. They had then spoken to Bell about the "going rate" in the area.

Mr Moore said Bell hadn't offered to sell the drug, rather "there was an acquiescence to a request" and Bell had done the men a "favour" by arranging the drug deal. He said Bell had obtained the drugs through his dealer.

Mr Hood said the arrangement had been that Bell would receive "a couple of buds" of marijuana from the officers and the offence had been "low-level".

Mr Moore said Bell, a father of two, had worked in hospitality on various Whitsunday islands and recently in the mines.

He said Bell regretted his involvements with drugs, which had led to him losing him job. He said he had recently undergone surgery to remove a testicular cancer.

Judge Brendan Butler said Bell had been "happy to accommodate" the officers' request, and noted that all he would receive was a "small amount" of marijuana.

He accepted that Bell had "held down" a number of jobs and he had only started using amphetamines in 2014 when he obtained better paying work.

He said Bell had a background of "minor" criminal offending, with drugs, violence and properties convictions.

As Bell had already served 183 days in custody, he was released immediately.

He was ordered to serve two years of probation.


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