Eight months of trafficking the drug ice around Wangaratta and the Border has resulted in eight years in jail for syndicate leader Jasmine Bourne.
The 28-year-old held back tears and took a deep breath as Judge John Smallwood handed down the sentence in Shepparton County Court on Thursday.
She will have to serve five years before she is eligible for parole, after pleading guilty to six charges including trafficking a commercial quantity of methamphetamine.
More than three kilograms of ice, worth as much as $872,000, was sold during 2016 as Bourne oversaw the sourcing of drugs from Melbourne and collection of debts via those working in her operation.
She was arrested in November 2016 in possession of 79.2g of ice, a pen pistol, ammunition and a ledger of drug sales.
Judge Smallwood said the syndicate was a very serious business.
“It could almost be said that the organisation was yours,” he said.
“Ice can only be regarded as an evil drug and it destroys lives.
“You facilitated a lot of the drug going into the community in the North East and you’ll have to pay the price for that.”
Bourne appeared via video link from Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, wearing a black T-shirt and cross necklace, and waved to her mother who was in the public gallery.
Judge Smallwood said a phone call between Bourne and her mother was recorded from jail, two weeks after the drug dealer was taken into custody on remand, and they talked about items she was keeping in a safe.
“It’s got to be done today, I’ll give you a code and there’s stuff that needs to be burnt,” Bourne said.
Two weeks later, another phone call was recorded where she talked to her mother about money she was owed.
“Get him to do f---ing money orders $140 bucks a month, these junkies can afford that,” she said.
“I was making more than every other c---.”
Judge Smallwood acknowledged Bourne suffered from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and had been working before she “went off the rails” when she got into a relationship with an abusive man.
“Having created or inherited this business, you pursued it with vigour,” he said.
Bourne was completing a community corrections order for a previous drug trafficking offence while she was running the ice syndicate in 2016.
Her driver’s licence was also cancelled for six months over a dangerous driving charge, which came about when she tried to escape from police on the day she was arrested and ran into the police car blocking her path.
Having already served 653 days on remand, Bourne will be eligible for parole in late-2021.
Her boyfriend at the time, Luke Brown, was also sentenced to five years in jail with a minimum of two-and-a-half years.
He was involved in selling more than 1kg of ice and pleaded guilty to trafficking a commercial quantity of methamphetamine in the Koori Court.
“The number of lives, particularly within your own Aboriginal community, that are ruined by ice is well known,” Judge Smallwood said.
“The risk of you not reoffending is clearly totally dependent on you not using ice.”
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