Man jailed after police find $90,000 worth of drugs
A MAN with a "highly improbable" story as to why there was $90,000 worth of methylamphetamine in his Airlie Beach unit has been convicted and jailed for possessing dangerous drugs.
The man he met in jail, who falsely confessed to being the actual owner of the drugs, has also been jailed.
Peter Allan Smith, 48, pleaded not guilty to possessing drugs and the matter went to trial in the Supreme Court in Mackay last week. A jury found him guilty.
During sentencing on Thursday, Justice Duncan McMeekin said police had raided Smith's unit last year.
On his balcony, on the underside of a plastic chair, they found a PVC tube containing bags of methylamphetamine.
The gross weight of the drugs was 116 grams.
Mr Cowen said that had a street value of up to $90,000.
He said fingerprints showed Smith had been in "intimate contact" with the drugs.
Justice Duncan McMeekin said he wasn't surprised the jury had returned a guilty verdict, as Smith's version of events had been "highly improbable".
He accepted Mr Cowen's submission that the drug must have been for commercial purposes.
Smith was sentenced to three and a half years in jail. No parole date was set.
Luke Mitchell Kinnear, 31, who had confessed to being the owner of the methylamphetamine and was thus charged with supplying drugs had his charge changed to attempting to pervert the course of justice in the Supreme Court in Mackay on Friday.
Mr Cowen said that when Kinnear was at Capricornia Correctional Facility on August 6 last year he signed a statutory declaration saying the drugs were his and had been given to him.
Later that month he was interviewed by police and maintained the story.
Kinnear's story had been that he couldn't refuse it because "he was lucky enough to stumble across what turned out to be over a hundred grams gross of methylamphetamine", Mr Cowen said.
Defence barrister Stephen Byrne said Kinnear had gone into custody on July 24 last year and Smith had gone in on July 26.
He said Kinnear hadn't known Smith prior to that.
Mr Cowen said it appeared Smith had an ability to influence other people. Judge McMeekin agreed.
Kinnear was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
He will be released on parole after six months.