Law, Penalties & Defences for Supplying Commercial Quantity of Prohibited Drugs in NSW


It’s reported that 23-year-old Grace Poo tried to smuggle close to 1,600 capsules of

MDMA party drugs into the Midnight Mafia music festival at Sydney Olympic Park on 5 May 2018.

Poo planned to smuggle the party drugs by secreting it her bra and vagina before she was detected by police sniffer dogs at the festival.

Her co-offender and former bank manager 27-year-old Julian Martusciello was also sentenced for supplying Poo with the drugs. He was also sentenced for the offence of knowingly taking part in supplying prohibited drugs, namely, a further 230 capsules at the Sydney festival.

It is reported that Martusciello and Poo plotted over text messages to smuggle the drugs in. The text messages revealed that the plan was for her to secret the capsules in a “big bra”, with suggestions she take a couple of packages in one boob, with another couple in the other and a small package “downstairs”.

When Poo was approached by police at the festival with the secreted capsules, she said to the officer that she had “a lot” of drugs.

When asked “how much is a lot?” She told the officer, “Like, a lot. A lot of MDMA.”

Poo has been used as a mule on multiple other occasions. The court was told that she smuggles 300 MDMA capsules at the Knockout Circuz festival at the Sydney Olympic Park for $1,000.

She also frankly told the court that she previously carried 1,000 capsules into the Defqon. 1 music festival in September last year where two people had died from overdoses.

Her motive to smuggle the MDMA capsules on this occasion was for the payment of $200, 40 freebies and a ticket.

Her plan was to distribute the drugs to the people she carried it in for after smuggling the capsules into the festival.

The Court acknowledged when sentencing Poo on Friday, that she was suffering financial hardship and close to homelessness at the time.

The Court also accepted that she commenced using MDMA on weekends with friends and then moved to taking up to 5 capsules a night.

The Sentencing District Court Judge Graham Turnbull took into account as mitigating factors, that Poo suffered a difficult childhood involving violence and financial hardship.

His Honour said, “she’s had to fend for herself without advantage or opportunity.”

His Honour took into account, to her favour, that her motive was “far more nuanced and complex” than financial benefit out of just greed.

In that sense, her vulnerability caused her to be the perfect candidate to commit this crime.

Hi Honour said, “She has been a vulnerable child, a vulnerable young woman.”

However, notwithstanding her vulnerabilities His Honour said, “There have been terrible consequences for young people who consume illicit drugs brought into festivals”.

The Court could not find a more appropriate penalty other than imprisonment despite Poo’s mitigating factors that reduced her sentence.

Poo Pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Friday by Judge Turnbull to 2-years imprisonment with a requirement to spend at least 1 of those years in full-time custody before being eligible for release on parole.

She was sentenced for the offences of supplying commercial quantity of prohibited drugs and supplying indictable quantity of prohibited plant.

For more information on drug law, call our specialist criminal defence lawyers today for a free discussion.

Law, Penalties & Defences for Supplying Commercial Quantity of Prohibited Drugs in NSW

The maximum penalty for supplying prohibited drugs in NSW depend on the weight of the drug involved and the category such weight falls into.

See our previous article here on the defence to drug supply charges in NSW.

Prohibited drug weights can fall into 5 separate categories, including:

  • Not more than small quantity
  • More than small but less than indictable quantity
  • More than indictable but less than commercial quantity
  • Commercial quantity but less than large commercial quantity’ and
  • Large commercial quantity or more

Some drugs have the same weight threshold under the commercial quantity category while other are different, such as:

  • MDMA (also known as Ecstasy) has a commercial quantity of 125g or more, but less than 500g.
  • Methylamphetamine has a commercial quantity of 250g or more, but less than 1kg.
  • Heroin has a commercial quantity of 250g or more, but less than 1kg.
  • Cocaine has a commercial quantity of 250g or more, but less than 1kg.
  • Amphetamine has a commercial quantity of 250g or more, but less than 1kg.

So, what are the penalties for supplying a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs? This has a maximum punishment of 20-years imprisonment and/or $385,000 fine.

The table to Division 1A of Part 4 Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) prescribes a 10-years standard non-parole period for commercial drug supply offences. This represents the minimum period of full-time prison before eligibility for release on parole where the offence falls in the middle of the range of objective seriousness for this kind of offence.

It is prohibited in NSW to supply a prohibited drug (or taking part in the same) under section 25(1) Drug Misuse & Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).

For more information on drug offences, penalties & defences, contact our 24/7 hotline to speak with one of our drug lawyers in Sydney for a free consult today.

About Jimmy Singh

Mr. Jimmy Singh is the Principal Lawyer at Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia - Leading Criminal Lawyers in Sydney, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Criminal Courts.

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