Prison undie drug smuggler’s $15k ‘code’ fail
A Queensland man who tried to smuggle $15,000 worth of drugs to his mate in prison was caught out when corrections officers heard the pair using "code" to talk about their plan over the phone.
Cade Michael Brandon, now 20, was caught with four syringes and 77 strips of the drug buprenorphine, an opioid also known as Subutex, stashed down his pants when he went to visit his friend at the Woodford Correctional Centre in December.
The Brisbane District Court today heard Brandon, who was 19 at the time, agreed to bring the drugs into the prison after repeated requests from his inmate friend James Alexander Hanlon.
Brandon today pleaded guilty to one charge of aggravated supply of dangerous drugs within a correctional facility.
When asked if he had anything to say before sentencing, Brandon told the court he was regretful for his actions.
"If I could go back in time to change what occurred on that day I would," he said.
"I deeply regret it. That's all your honour."
Judge Leanne Clare said she had "no doubt" the offending had been Hanlon's idea and she noted Brandon's young age and lack of any criminal history.
"For 10 days you were in constant communication with coded language," Judge Clare said.
"Then you came to visit with the drugs secreted down your pants."
Judge Clare said the buprenorphine was a "highly profitable commodity in prison".
"On the street it's cheap to buy and yet it is liable to yield a 1000% profit in jail," she said.
"It should not need to be said but bringing drugs into prison is very bad."
The court heard the drugs were worth up to $15,400 in the prison and the presence of drugs made it difficult for prison officers to "maintain discipline" in the jail.
"Drugs are what got most prisoners there in the first place," Judge Clare said.
"Addicts are particularly vulnerable, I've had prisoners stand exactly where you are telling me that the time in custody to dry out is what saved their lives.
"On the other hand making drugs available in the very place intended to rehabilitate can only make things worse."
Brandon was sentenced to a six month intensive corrections order.
"Despite those things in your favour, despite your prospects for a productive and law abiding future there must be a sentence of imprisonment to mark the seriousness of this kind of offending," Judge Clare told him.
"It is a very serious offence. At the same time it is in the best interest of the community to support and encourage your rehabilitation in a way that is safe for the community."
She said the sentence would not be easy and would "substantially limit" his freedom.
"I don't want you to agree to it thinking it's going to be a walk in the park," she said.
"It will not be. It is not supposed to be. It is punishment. And it is intended to reinforce to you the wrongness of what you have done, the offence that you have committed against the community as well as giving you an opportunity to have further support to ensure this never happens again and you stay clear of drugs in the future."
Hanlon was sentenced for his role in the drug offending in August and was sentenced to nine months imprisonment. He pleaded guilty to a number of other offences at the same sentence hearing.