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The police established a strike force to investigate the illegal
supply of drugs in northeastern NSW.
As part of the investigation, an audio surveillance device was
installed in the home of a suspect.
The offender and the suspect had been friends for 15 years.
The offender was recorded visiting the suspect's home on a
number of occasions while the surveillance device was
The surveillance device captured the offender and suspect
discussing drugs and exchanging packages and cash.
Several months later, the offender was arrested on the basis of
The prosecution said that the offender had committed the offence
of supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis under section 25(1A) of the NSW Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act
1985 ("the Act"). This offence carries a penalty
of up to 18 years' imprisonment with 2,400 penalty units and no
standard non-parole period.
The offender argued for a lesser charge of supplying prohibited
drugs under section 25(1) of the Act. This offence carries
a penalty of up to 15 years' imprisonment, with 2,000 penalty
units and no standard non-parole period.
case a - The case for the prosecution
case b - The case for the offender
On several occasions, the offender and suspect can be heard on
the surveillance recordings discussing the sale and purchase of
purple frogs. "Purple frogs" is a slang term for
The audio device captured the suspect handing over packages to
the offender and the offender handing cash to the suspect to pay
for the drugs.
The audio device recorded the fact that the offender took
possession of a total of 350 pills that the prosecution asserted
were for the purpose of supply. This amount of pills equates to
approximately 70 grams in weight.
The suspect, who has already been sentenced to a two year jail
term for dealing ecstasy, is able to provide witness testimony. He
will confirm that the pills he sold to the offender were in fact
ecstasy and that the quantity of pills was 350.
Based on the evidence, it is open to us to charge the offender
under section 25(1A) of the Act with supplying prohibited drugs on
an ongoing basis.
It is true that the suspect and I were recorded talking about
"purple frogs", but we've been friends for 15 years
and we talk a lot of rubbish.
The prosecution's surveillance recordings amount to
circumstantial evidence that they want to use to infer that I broke
The police have never found any drugs in my possession, so they
are unable to provide direct evidence that there were any pills,
let alone 350 pills. Nor can they prove that the pills, if they
ever existed, were ecstasy, since there were no pills to
Although I deny having purchased any drugs from the suspect, I
am concerned about the impact that the suspect's witness
testimony might have on my case if I go to trial. So, I am prepared
to plead guilty to the supply of a prohibited drug under section 25(1) of the Act. However, I will only
do so if the quantity is taken to be 150 pills, and only if it is a
one-off supply. This amount equates to approximately 30 grams in
Also, if I plead guilty, my sentence should clearly be less
than the two years that the suspect was sentenced to for dealing