'Drug king' trying to pay dad's debt

A GOLD Coast drug king was motivated by greed and a need to pay his father's gambling debts when he built his empire.

Daniel Kalaja, 32, was jailed for 14 years for trafficking in cannabis, speed, ecstasy and GHB.

He pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court to 20 drug-related charges.

He was declared a serious violent offender which means he must serve at least 80% of his sentence.

The court heard police gathered more than 6000 drug-related phone calls and texts through intercepts, mostly in code.

Crown prosecutor Glen Cash said it was impossible to determine the financial worth of the trafficking operation.

He said Kalaja had a "comfortable but not extravagant lifestyle".

Kalaja was the central figure in a drug operation across south-east Queensland and north Queensland.

The operation also involved importing drugs from interstate to Queensland.

Justice Glenn Martin said he took the $600,000 found during one search as the bare minimum income derived but would have much higher.

He said the accused was dealing in huge quantities of the drugs. 


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