William Barker outside Maroochydore Watch House. Photo:Rae Wilson/182222
William Barker outside Maroochydore Watch House. Photo:Rae Wilson/182222

Speed king gets 10 years jail

A SUPREME Court justice found greed motivated a Mooloolah Valley man to sell a drug that "destroys communities" as he handed down a 10-year jail sentence.

Justice Peter Flanagan also declared speed king William Fredericis Barker's trafficking was a serious violent offence which means he must serve at least 80% of his sentence

He said he must deter other people like Barker, who had no drug addiction, from also trafficking for financial gain because speed had "known effects" on "not just on individuals, not just on families but on the entire community".

"Methylamphetamine is a drug that is highly addictive. It destroys lives and there is evidence it destroys communities," he said.

Police phone intercepts and surveillance captured Barker, 50, shifting 57 ounces of speed, for $171,000, over about 10 months in 2008-09.

Officers found almost $1 million cash - many stacks cryovacked and then carefully wrapped in duct tape - buried beneath shipping containers, in shopping bags inside a buried plastic drum, in wall cladding and inside other items.

Barker pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court to drug trafficking with four key customers on-selling to people in the Bundaberg, Warwick and Sunshine Coast regions.

The court heard he had $1.8 million in unexplained income in about 16 months and used cash to pay workers building a six-bedroom home on the hinterland property where the money was found.

Barker also used cash to purchase about $46,000 worth of jewellery, a number of vehicles and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

He was selling speed, usually in powder form, at $3000 an ounce to four associates.

The court heard the police search located 73.52g of iodine which was capable of producing 431g of methylamphetamine if he had the other necessary ingredients.

Justice Peter Flanagan said Barker had demonstrated no remorse but he did reduce the sentence to take a guilty plea into account.

"You, Mr Barker, were the head of a very successful and sophisticated trafficking business. You used code to hide your dealings which would make it difficult for authorities to prove without the co-operation of the four persons with whom you were involved," he said.

"You hid your takings from the business of drug trafficking around your property in a detailed and sophisticated manner - only detected by the use of customs dogs.

"The significance of the unsourced income is that it represents the extent of the business, not just in sales but in profit, that essentially became disposable income being used to build a six-bedroom house."

Defence barrister Tony Kimmins had argued the court was dealing with a short period of intense activity but there was no "syndicate" his client headed up.

He said that word had "sinister overtones" when Barker had just sourced drugs to sell to four people, who the Crown says are high-level traffickers with their own client base.

"We're not talking about a cartel," he said.

"It is a man who has the ability to source amphetamines and sell to four people."

"There is no evidence of everyone sitting down at a mafia meeting where it is decided this week we will move two pounds of amphetamines."

Justice Flanagan said Barker had three former wives and many children he had supported over the years, noting the many present in court showed he took his family responsibilities seriously.

He noted the lack of criminal history and sentenced him as a person of "good repute and good character" who did not shirk responsibility.

Sunshine Coast District Drug and Serious Taskforce's Detective Senior Constable Chris Eaton said Barker's conviction finalised a protracted joint agency investigation involving the Queensland Police Service, Australian Federal Police, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Australian Crime Commission.

"The investigation highlights that not only will the criminality of organised crime be investigated and prosecuted but that law enforcement agencies will work in collaboration to identify and seize the assets of those that seek to profit from such activity," he said.

- APN NEWSDESK



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