Diva's Den synthetic drug trafficker pleads guilty

A WOMAN who sold illegal synthetic drugs at her adult shop has been released from custody after pleading guilty to trafficking and other drug crimes.

The owner of Diva's Den on Wood St in Mackay, 43-year-old Melinda Ann Slingsby, pleaded guilty to trafficking, three counts of supplying and one count of possessing drugs in the Supreme Court in Mackay.

Crown prosecutor Michael Cowen said yesterday that Slingsby had sold synthetic marijuana at the store from June 4, 2014 to March 2 last year.

Justice Duncan McMeekin noted one of Slingsby's employees told police the store would take $2500 in sales of the drug daily.

Defence barrister Harvey Walters said Slingsby had sold the drug prior to it becoming illegal in 2013.

He said Slingsby opened the adult shop in 2005. He said the Internet had caused a downturn in sales and the business had become reliant on the sale of synthetic drugs at a time when it was legal.

Mr Cowen said police had raided the store on June 5, 2014 and that would have made Slingsby aware it was no longer legal.

He said an undercover police officer had posed as a customer and purchased the drugs from her.

On November 24, 2014, Slingsby and the officer met and he had asked for advice on sourcing and selling.

"She said that she'd been selling three different types at her shop. She acknowledged that she's considered stopping, that she knew people were hurting themselves," Mr Cowen said. "However she admitted to making a considerable profit selling the synthetic cannabis."

Slingsby had given the officer advice on pricing and sold him samples of the three blends for $1000.

The counts of supply related to occasions when Slingsby had helped to arrange drug purchases between the officer and her ex-partner. In two of those occasions, her ex-partner had sold 1000 ecstasy pills to the officer for $16,000.

Mr Walters said Slingsby had not made a profit.

He said if Slingsby was released she'd live with her parents in Gatton. Her father is currently managing the store's staff.

Slingsby was sentenced to three years in prison. As she'd already served 338 days, the sentence was suspended immediately.

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