Customers ‘screaming out for ice’

ALBURY drug dealer Jesse James Clarke offered to supply 26 grams of ice with a street value of $18,200 over a two-month period.

Clarke had four mobile phones, two in false names, and registered to home addresses in Albury, Brookvale in Sydney, Wangaratta and Wagga.

But the whole time police were monitoring his operation, which revealed he was a mid-level supplier who did not use drugs and whose motivation was financial gain.

Drug squad detectives intercepted 2500 phone calls and 5000 text messages after Strike Force Yasmar was formed to target ice supplying in the Albury region.

Clarke, 23, pleaded guilty in Albury Local Court yesterday to charges of supplying 26 grams of ice between May 31 and August 1 last year, assaulting and hindering police and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

Magistrate Tony Murray committed Clarke for sentencing in the District Court at Albury starting on August 11.

Clarke’s elaborate operation was outlined in facts tendered by Director of Public Prosecutions representative Andrew Hanshaw.

Police believe Clarke’s network of customers was at least 20 people and generally he supplied from his home address in Ryan Road at Glenroy.

His prices were $100 for 0.1 gram, $350 for 0.5 gram, $600 to $800 for one gram and $1750 for 3.5 grams, known as an eight-ball, eights or beach ball.

He received a phone call and text messages on July 26 from another man in a different location who was interested in becoming a supplier and checked Clarke’s prices for ice.

The other man told Clarke people in his local area were “screaming out for it”.

Clarke contacted his supplier on August 7 and took a flight to Sydney, but arranged to return on the XPT train with a ticket in a false name.

He arrived at Culcairn the next morning where his girlfriend was supposed to be, but police swooped.

Clarke dropped a bag of luggage and ran off dispersing the contents of an envelope over a distance of 400 metres.

Police recovered rocks of methamphetamine weighing 1.7 grams and Clarke was searched.

He attempted to break a mobile phone he had and wrestled with a detective, who tried to prevent it.

Police found a small safe in a bedroom at Clarke’s home which was opened by a locksmith.

It held $1494.80 in cash and several phones.