Prohibited Drug Quantities and Penalties in NSW

Poppy Morandin.


A 42-year-old man has been charged after officers from the Organised Crime Squad allegedly seized 4kg of cocaine stamped with an Australian Federal Police (AFP) logo.

Following investigations into the activities of an alleged criminal syndicate involved in the supply of cocaine across Sydney, police stopped a tow truck carrying a Nissan X-trail on Pennant Hills Road, Oatlands.

The vehicle was searched, revealing the 4kg of cocaine stamped with the AFP logo.

Subsequently, a 42-year-old Northmead man was arrested in a carpark on Windsor Road, Northmead, and taken to Granville Police Station.

Following this, four search warrants were executed at homes in Zetland, Thornleigh, Holroyd, and Northmead.

During the search of the Northmead home, detectives seized a hydraulic press and a metal stamp of the AFP logo.

Police will allege that the stamp was used to brand the seized blocks of cocaine, along with a further 1.5kg of cocaine found at the property.

In total, police will allege the cocaine has an estimated potential street value of $2.2 million.

At the other locations, police also seized $43,735 in cash, cocaine, electronic devices, documentation, vehicle number plates, ammunition, and various items alleged to be consistent with illicit drug supply.

All items seized will undergo further forensic examination.

The Northmead man was charged with four counts of supply prohibited drug, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime, and possess ammunition without holding licence or permit or authority.

The AFP have since posted: “at the risk of stating the obvious, AFP-branded cocaine isn’t endorsed by us.”

Prohibited Drug Quantities and Penalties in NSW

A person who supplies, or who knowingly takes part in the supply of, a prohibited drug is guilty of an offence, pursuant to section 25(1) of the Drugs Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) (the Act).

‘Supply’ is provided with a considerably extended definition under the Act.

It includes selling and distributing, as well as agreeing to supply, offering to supply, keeping, or having in possession for supply, sending, forwarding, delivering, or receiving for supply, or authorising, directing, causing, suffering, permitting or attempting any of the aforementioned acts.

This is outlined in section 3(1) of the Act.

Maximum penalties and offences under the Act are distinguished based on the weight of the prohibited drug involved.

The thresholds range from small, traffickable, indictable, commercial, and large commercial quantities.

A table corresponding threshold quantities to a relevant prohibited drug are found within Schedule 1 of the Act.

Section 25(1) will usually apply to offences in which the prohibited drug involved is less than the commercial quantity and ranges between the small and indictable quantities.

These matters will be dealt with in the Local Court unless the prosecution or defence ‘elects’ otherwise.

If dealt with in the Local Court, the maximum penalty is a fine of $5,500 and/or imprisonment for 2 years.

However, if the matter is ‘elected’ and is dealt with in the District Court, a maximum penalty of a $220,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment, is applicable.

Despite this, in the case of cannabis plant or cannabis leaf, a fine of $220,000 and/or imprisonment for 10 years is applicable.

Section 25(2) applies to those who supply quantities which are not less than a ‘commercial’ quantity.

This offence is strictly indictable, which means that it cannot be dealt with in the Local Court and therefore will be heard before the District Court.

A maximum penalty of a fine of $385,000 and/or 20 years imprisonment is applicable.

In the case of cannabis plant or cannabis leaf, the maximum jail term reduces to 15 years.

If the quantity involved is not less than the large commercial quantity, the maximum penalty raises to a $550,000 fine and/or life imprisonment.

In the case of cannabis plant or cannabis leaf, the maximum jail term reduces to 20 years.

In sentencing drug supply matters, it has been outlined that the court will have specific regard to the need for protection of the community.

This is in recognition of the social impact of drug use, particularly as an underlying cause of other criminal offending.

Furthermore, the court has held that as deterring the general community from such conduct is important, a consistent message of deterrence is necessary.

About Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia

Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia are Leading Criminal Defence Lawyers, Delivering Exceptional Results in all Australian Courts.

Related articles

See all articles

Strip Search Laws: Your Rights at Music Festivals in New South Wales

Jimmy Singh 6th December 2023

Coward Punch: Sucker Punch Laws in Australia

Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia 4th December 2023

Is Euthanasia Legal in Australia?

Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia 29th November 2023

What is the Youth Koori Court?

Poppy Morandin 29th November 2023


  What Our Clients Say

I was represented by Emerson Lamarre from CDLA for driving offences and possession of weapon charges which he got all chargers dropped for me. I could not have asked for… (read full review) By B.F. from Sydney on 22/11/2023
I am incredibly grateful to Alex and Emerson, who provided exceptional representation in my recent court case. Their extensive expertise and strategic approach gave me the best result in court.… (read full review) By J.C. from Sydney on 27/11/2023
Ibrahim and Emerson were amazing as my lawyers for court. They were professional, knowledgeable, and provided excellent support throughout my whole case. They went above and beyond to make sure… (read full review) By E.A. from Sydney on 24/11/2023
Nothing but 5 star service and professionalism from Sean of CDLA. He is empathetic and sincere and experienced in the criminal justice system. My case was won all because of… (read full review) By M.A. from Sydney on 24/11/2023
I hired Emerson from Criminal Defence Lawyers Australia for my case. I am satisfied with the decision and now I am free from the criminal record. Thank you for your… (read full review) By Y.K. from Sydney on 23/10/2023

Free Conference Booking Form

Follow Us