Ice user turned street dealer faces court
Ice user turned street dealer faces court

Chiller for Lower Clarence ice dealer

AN ICE addiction caused Gregory Charles Purcell's relationship to fall apart, made him lose his home and live out of his car before moving back in with his father, with whom he had suffered abuse as a child, a court was told.

Despite the damage ice had caused to his life, it didn't stop Purcell from selling it to fund his increasing drug habit.

From September 2017 to February 2018, Purcell, 31, sold 2.8g of methylamphetamine during 18 separate sales before a Coffs/Clarence Police District strike force, formed to investigate the supply of ice in the lower Clarence, made an arrest.

Appearing in Grafton Local Court on Monday, Purcell pleaded guilty to two charges of supplying a prohibited drug for the sale of 2.816g of methylamphetamine and 32g of marijuana.

According to police facts, Coffs/Clarence Police District Strike Force Acini was implemented in August 2017 to investigate the supply of ice in the lower Clarence.

Through intercepted conversations, Purcell was established as a street-level supplier who was contacted regularly by customers seeking ice, with open terminology of drugs and cash discussed.

After recording 18 transactions throughout Maclean, Gulmarrad, Harwood and Yamba, varying from 0.1g to 0.5g of ice and 3g to 28g of marijuana, police executed a search warrant on a property in Wharf St, Maclean.

During the search a number of items were located and seized, including suspected prohibited drugs, $100 cash, two glass pipes and numerous items suspected of being stolen.

In Grafton Local Court, Purcell's solicitor argued the drug supply was to support Purcell's own addiction, in which he'd use ice three days a week and spend four days recovering, before selling more ice to help pay for further use.

Magistrate Karen Stafford said while Purcell knew the effect the drug had on his own life after losing his relationship and finding himself homeless, he still continued to act in a way that would supply ice to the lower Clarence.

Ms Stafford said while Purcell's supply was on the bottom level of the chain, drug supply networks did not operate without street-level dealers and with 18 sales of ice in a five-month period, the offending was not isolated.

Purcell was sentenced to a year behind bars, with a non-parole period of six months. Purcell's solicitor has lodged an appeal against the sentence, due to be heard in Grafton District Court on August 30.

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