The queen of Wangaratta’s ice scene over four years admitted she was “a real piece of work” as she sold millions of dollars worth of the drug into the community.
Jessica Fogarty, 26, sat at the top of a pile of almost 60 drug dealers whose syndicate came crashing down when police raided Wangaratta homes and arrested the group in September 2014.
She faces a lengthy term in jail, spent in protective custody away from former friends who want revenge.
The drug boss appeared in Melbourne County Court on Monday to plead guilty to charges including trafficking a commercial quantity of methamphetamine and trafficking cocaine.
Fogarty saw herself as a fair boss who would reward dealers for their loyalty by reducing the price of the drugs.
“I always give everyone a chance, but I have to see payment ongoing for a while first,” she said in a phone conversation intercepted by police.
“I pretty easy going, but I can be a real piece of work.”
Her business did very well, up to $64,000 per week during the most successful times, and allowed her to rent two homes, have multiple cars, nice clothes and use 3.5 grams of ice herself again.
But solicitor George Douglas said Fogarty had been left with nothing to show for her drug dealing.
She allegedly ran the syndicate with her boyfriend, Matthew Tymms, who has pleaded not guilty, and Jessica Short, who admitted her guilt in court last week.
Not even having a baby in June 2014 slowed Fogarty down - she still gave orders to her drug debt enforcers from the hospital bed.
She allegedly instructed Tymms to “stash all the naughty things at home in lock box”.
Crown prosecutor Max Perry said the drugs were sourced from Melbourne and Sydney from bosses who were only described as “high up”.
They were paid via TAB betting accounts, which were topped up with money in Wangaratta that was withdrawn in Melbourne.
Ozkan Ciftci, 46, told police he sold 170 ounces of methamphetamine to Fogarty in 2010 and 2011 alone at about $9000 per ounce, making $1.36 million from her in total.
When police were waiting to arrest Ciftci at Wangaratta Rail Station in August 2014, Fogarty realised she needed a new phone.
The syndicate also knew it was being watched by police by 2014 so they had to get creative to avoid attention.
Fogarty had multiple phone account in names such as “Princess Devil Woman”.
Her safe house in Warby Street was fitted with surveillance in case of a visit by police.
Mr Perry said Fogarty used co-accused and other criminal associates to enforce the payment of drug debts.
“My mate is going to f--- them over real bad because he f---ed me over years ago and hopefully within a few days I’ll have a decent amount of money for you,” she said on the phone.
Wangaratta also had a sharp rise in the theft of firearms from rural properties, which was either on-sold or used by the drug syndicate for intimidation.
Mr Douglas said Fogarty had been in custody for more an a year and accepted she faced more jail time.
He said her drug addiction started with pain killers for a back injury and graduated to ice when she met a boyfriend in Melbourne.
That relationship ended after incidents of domestic violence and she returned to Wangaratta with a “sense of self-loathing and worthlessness”.
Selling drugs was easy money.
“She was not a very good businesswoman, she’d often sell the drugs on credit and wouldn’t get paid,” Mr Douglas said.
Fogarty lost almost $1 million in one failed drug transactions.
Mr Douglas said Fogarty had started a bachelor of business students in jail.
Judge Frank Gucciardo said he planned to sentence Fogarty back in Melbourne in early February.