Man busted for drug possession in quarantine hotel
THE smell of drugs emanating from a room in Cairns' quarantine hotel has led to a drug bust after a man who had returned from overseas was found with cannabis and cocaine.
The Cairns Magistrates Court heard friends of construction worker Sean Anthony Honey, 30, snuck the drugs into his seventh floor Pacific Hotel room in a food order while he was serving 14 days quarantine.
Defence solicitor Mark Butler said Honey lived and worked in Papua New Guinea and had entered Australia legally.
The court heard members of the Australian Defence Force smelt cannabis coming from a room on August 11 and called police who raided it.
Police prosecutor Codi Dalley said they found 13.5g of cannabis and 0.77g of a white powder, which Honey confirmed was cocaine, in the front pocket of a suitcase.
"It's brazen your honour," she said.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of drug possession.
Mr Butler said his client had found out two days into his quarantine stay his best childhood friend had died in a car crash and he was grieving.
"It wasn't something that he sought out, it was given to him knowing he was (grieving) by his friends," he said.
He asked Magistrate Terence Browne not to record a conviction as it would ruin his work prospects back in PNG.
He said he worked for a family construction business overseas and earned around $150,000 per year.
Magistrate Browne fined Honey $1000 and agreed not to record a conviction.
"This is a very poor choice you made to go through that grieving process," he said.
"If you truly value your work in PNG don't have any more to do with dangerous drugs."
Originally published as Man busted for drug possession in quarantine hotel