Jail for cashed-up drug addict

HE LEFT a bag containing drugs inside a taxi and in an industrial bin and hid cash behind a painting in his Mackay apartment.

And now Ashley Robert Brown, 22, will be behind bars until at least January.

Brown pleaded guilty to a string of drug offences at Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday.

He admitted to possessing $43,000 cash and 263g of meth at his Mackay apartment, along with meth, cocaine and MDMA that was found dumped in a bag in an industrial bin on the Gold Coast months earlier.

In September 2014, Brown left a bag containing drugs in a taxi at Surfers Paradise. In it was a set of scales, clip seal bags and mobile phones that revealed drug-dealing messages.

Later that month, police found him with $22,500 cash; most was hidden in stockings he was wearing under his pants.

Two months later, in November 2014, a person handed in to police a bag they had found in a Gold Coast industrial bin that was full of drugs - including 80.94g of meth, 0.965g of cocaine and 1.72g of MDMA - and drug utensils.

"Again, like you leaving a bag in the taxi cab, there is no explanation for why you left a bag in an industrial bin or why it was found there," Justice Peter Flanagan said during Brown's sentencing hearing on Tuesday.

Four months after this bag was found, police were tipped off that Brown was staying in Mackay.

Police searched his apartment and found digital scales, a water pipe, cash that was hidden behind a painting and 263.837g of meth that had a purity of 64-73%.

Justice Flanagan said Brown's large amounts of cash suggested there was a commercial purpose in his drug possession.

He also said Brown's offending came from his meth addiction and becoming "entrapped" in a life of drug dealing.

The court heard Brown was born in NSW and was now living in the Brisbane area.

The court also heard he had told family members that going to jail would save his life.

He has been behind bars since March 2015.

Justice Flanagan said Brown shown he was remorseful and was willing to take responsibility for his actions.

He sentenced him to a total five and a half years in jail. Brown will be eligible for parole in January next year. - ARM NEWSDESK



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