Selling Prohibited Drugs is a Crime

Scott Miller a former Olympic swimmer has been sentenced in the NSW District Court alongside other accomplices for playing a significant role in a drug supply operation.

The 47-year-old pleaded guilty to several charges including the supply of heroin and methamphetamine and participating in a criminal group.

Miller used his Toyota Camry to transport the drugs that were hidden in eight white candles.

Police hid cameras in the car tracking Miller and one of his accomplices, 49-year-old Wayne Allan Johnson where they travelled from Balmain to Yass and gave the candles to 47-year-old Justin Szabolics.

Police arrested the two from a random roadside police stop, where it was revealed, they were speeding away and had dumped the bag of candles behind a tree on the highway.

In 2021, Police issued a search warrant to Millers’ Home that exposed commercial quantities of heroin amongst his belongings, as well as more than $72,000 in proceeds of crimes that were locked inside a safe.

Judge Penelope Hock in her sentencing highlighted that Miller was a successful Olympic swimmer and took into consideration that he has suffered mentally from the age of 15 when he lived and trained at the Australian Institute of sport.

“These problems have continued over subsequent years and have at least contributed to his substance abuse,” said Judge Hock to the court.

Judge Hock highlighted that Millers’ drug use sparked after retiring from swimming in 2004 and intensified following the breakdown of his business during Covid-19.

In her decision, she considered the decline in his mental health, the harsh conditions of jail during the pandemic with isolation rules as well as his intentions and good character to be a “law-abiding husband, father, son” where he would use his to help others avoid his choices.

Miller will face a total of 5 years and six months in jail and will be eligible for parole in February 2023.

Drug Supply charges in NSW

Under Section 25(1) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act (1985) NSW, it is a criminal offence to supply prohibited drugs in NSW.

Prohibited drugs are listed in schedule 1 of the Act and are4 inclusive of MDMA/ Ecstasy, Heroin, Methamphetamine, Lysergic Acid, Cocaine and Amphetamine.

Drug supply refers to the involvement in the sale or distribution of drugs unlawfully which includes giving drugs for free, selling, distributing, agreeing to supply, offering the supply, keeping drugs in your possession for supply, sending, delivering, receiving the drug for supply or allowing any of that conduct to occur.

Deemed Drug supply is also a criminal offence where an individual is presumed to have possession of a “trafficable” quantity of a prohibited drug with the intention to supply it.

The Supply Drugs Sentencing Guidelines in NSW require the court to consider a number of factors. This includes the quantity and purity of drugs, the role and participation in the supply, vulnerability to drugs, drug addiction, trafficking or supplying to a substantial degree, and subjective or personal factors.

The penalties for drug supply offences in NSW vary dependent on the weight and quantity of the trafficable quantity of drugs.

The maximum penalties range from 2 years to life in jail and/or up to a $220,000 fine where a judge will use their discretion to sentence based on unique circumstances.

By Alyssa Maschmedt.

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