Maximum Penalties for Supplying Prohibited Drugs in NSW


Police have busted a well-organised ‘dial a dealer’ drug supply organisation after seizing over 350g of cocaine and multiple grams of MDMA and cannabis across NSW.

84 people have now been charged with drug offences, 46 of those face drug supply charges, while 38 face drug possession charges.

Police also seized over $69,500 in cash, which police allege are the proceeds of crime from selling drugs.

Among the people charged, many are, what police say, from “well-regarded professions”.

The drug bust involved a six-night police operation, at the end of which, on 7 December a VW Golf was stopped and searched by police on Clovelly Rd. As a result, the 31-year-old driver was found to have cocaine secreted in the waistband of his pants.

He was arrested and taken to the Waverley Police Station with his dog, who was restrained in the rear seat of the police vehicle.

The driver was charged with drug supply, possession and proceeds of crime, while the dog that was restrained was subsequently released back to the owner unharmed.

Amongst the people arrested included a 51-year-old cab driver who police allege was found with 13g of cocaine and over $3,000 cash secreted in a compartment of his cab in Barangaroo.

Police are concerned that the alleged drug supplies are occurring in high visibility locations amongst large numbers of crowds in Sydney and nearby suburbs.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bell has said, “This operation once again shows that cocaine supply and possession is not limited to one specific group of people, with several individuals from well-regarded professions in the community among those now before the courts.”

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the festive and holiday season sensibly & safely, but sadly there are some in the community that continue to ignore the warnings.”

“Unfortunately, some of these people will now spend Christmas behind bars or are likely to start 2020 with a criminal record.”

Police investigated the ‘dial-a-dealer’ criminal network in May this year which resulted in 55 people charged for allegedly running the service in the Sydney CBD and nearby suburbs.

Since commencing these investigations in 2017, over 250 people have been charged with drug offences, out of which 160 faced drug supply offences. Police have to date seized a total of over 3.6kg of cocaine and nearly $1m in cash.

For information on drug law in NSW, call our 24/7 advice line to speak with an experienced drug lawyer in Sydney today.

What are the Maximum Penalties for Drug Supply in NSW?

The maximum penalties for supplying prohibited drugs in NSW vary depending on the weight of the drug, and the category it falls into as a result.

Each prohibited drug in NSW is categorised into small, trafficable, indictable, commercial and large commercial quantities.

As for cocaine, the threshold small quantity if 1g, trafficable quantity if 3g, indictable quantity is 5g, commercial quantity is 250g and large commercial quantity is 1kg.

MDMA/Ecstasy has a threshold small quantity of 0.25g, trafficable quantity of 0.75g, indictable quantity of 1.25g, commercial quantity of 125g, and large commercial quantity of 500g.

Drug supply laws prescribe a range of maximum penalties for drug supply offences committed in NSW.

  • Less than Small Quantity: 15-years jail and/or $220,000 fine if dealt with in the District Court. If dealt with in the Local Court (which is normally what occurs) the maximum penalties are 2-years jail and/or $5,500 fine.
  • More than Small and Less than Indictable Quantity: 15-years jail and/or $220,000 fine if dealt with in the District Court. If dealt with in the Local Court (which is normally the case) the maximum penalties are 2-years jail and/or $11,000 fine.
  • More than Indictable and Less than Commercia Quantity: 15-years jail and/or $220,000 fine if dealt with in the District Court. If dealt with in the Local Court, the maximum penalties are 2-years jail and/or $11,000 fine.
  • Commercial Quantity and less than Large Commercial Quantity: 20-years jail and/or $385,000 fine. This offence must be dealt with in the District Court, and cannot be finalised in the Local Court unless it is being withdrawn.
  • Large Commercial Quantity and More: life in jail and/or $550,000 fine. This offence cannot be dealt with in the Local Court and must also be dealt with in the District Court.

Section 25(1) Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) prohibits a person from supplying or taking part in the supply of prohibited drugs.

Drug supply in NSW is defined in section 3 Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW), and it includes giving it to someone else (whether for a fee or free of charge).

Click here on out previous article on how to beat a drug supply charge in NSW.

Want to talk to a leading criminal defence lawyer today? Our friendly team are available 24/7 to offer a free consultation.

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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