Drugs - Cocaine - Import Less than Commercial Quantity

 

This table is intended to be used as a guide only. Individual cases should be read if they are to be relied upon.

 

  • s.233B(1)(b) Customs Act 1901 (Cth) - import prohibited drug
  • s.235(2)(d) Customs Act 1901 (Cth) - maximum penalty 25y (trafficable amount)
  • Commercial amount: 2kg

 

Case Offence Amount Plea Record Sentence Appeal Facts

Chase
NSW CCA
19.10.1990

Knowingly concerned in import

762g (pure)

VG

nil

FT 8y

AD

More than courier, if not principal. Recruited two accomplices.
American national – would be deported at end of sentence

Montenegro
(26)
NSW CCA
15.2.1991

Import

over 1.5kg (pure)

PG

nil

FT 4y 9m

AA
6y
3y 6m

Courier. US national.
Assistance to authorities.

Kogelbauer
(31)
(1992) 65 A Crim R 357

Import

269g (pure)

PG

minor

8y 6m
NPP 6y

AD
“Sentence towards top of the range”.

Purchased drugs in Amsterdam intending to sell in Australia. Heavily addicted to cocaine. Not part of an organisation: working alone.
Admitted importation at airport. Good subjective features.

Raz
NSW CCA
17.12.1992

Co-offender: LEFF

Import

Approx 1.25kg (pure) – see Leff (1996) 86 A Crim R 212

PG

 

7y
NPP 5y 4m

AA
4y 9m
NPP 3y 6m

Imported cocaine strapped to body. Was to deliver cocaine then wait for money to exchange into $US. Assisted in preparing and packing drugs. Regarded as more than a mere courier.
Considerable and valuable assistance.

Arabi
(39)
NSW CCA 23.4.1993

Import

736g (pure)

PG

nil

8y
NPP 6y

AD

Need not greed

Moreno
NSW CCA
4.11.1994

Import

341g (pure)

PG

 

10y
NPP 6y

AD

Arrested at airport with drugs internally concealed. No assistance.

Jelks
(36)
NSW CCA
1.12.1995

Import

404g (pure)

PG

nil

8y 6m
NPP 5y

AD

Courier from US.

Moreno
NSW CCA
26.6.1996

Import

294g (pure)

PG

nil

6y
NPP 4y

AD
(middle of appropriate range)

Arrested at airport importing drugs internally from Colombia. Offers of assistance worthless.
Naive with intelligence at lower range. Used by others. Genuinely contrite.

Stenovich
(24)
NSW CCA
27.11.1996

Import

390g (pure)

PG

 

9y
NPP 6y

AA
8y
NPP 5y

Arrested at airport. Courier. Minimal assistance. Previously visited Australia on reconnaissance mission.
American national – Parity

Leff
(56)
(1996) 86 A Crim R 212

Co-offender:
RAZ

2 x Knowingly concerned in import

1.25kg (pure)
1.25kg (pure)

VG

nil

13y 4m
NPP 8y 6m

AD

Involved in America at level close to full principal. Criminality little less than K.
Female offender with seriously ill husband in America. No family support in Australia.

Lopez-Alonso
(1996) 86 A Crim R 270

Import

1.6kg (pure)

VG

nil

9y
NPP 6y

AD

Courier.
Argentinean national

Abdulhadi
NSW CCA
3.10.1997

Import

964.4g (pure)

PG

 

5y
NPP 3y

AD

Co-offender brought in cocaine in scuba tank - Controlled delivery to appellant - Recruited courier to act on behalf of another
Assistance to authorities

Tapasa
NSW CCA
31.10.1997

Import

723.6g (pure)

PG

nil

8y
NPP 4y 6m

AD

Accompanied co-offender, both carrying drugs - Courier.

Faneite
(61)
NSW CCA
1.5.1998

Co-accused: BARRIENTOS

Import
Knowingly concerned in import

834g (pure)
719g (pure)

PG

nil

6y 6m
NPP 4y

AD

A and wife imported cocaine in shoes. Expected to receive $10,000. Participated in controlled delivery, and two people arrested.

Smith
(22)
NSW CCA
20.8.1998

Import

444.3g (pure)

PG

nil

3y 6m
NPP 2y
(assistance)

AD

Cocaine found in two bags. Financial gain only.
Issue on appeal was parity only.
Female from America.

Barrientos
NSW CCA [1]
10.2.1999

Co-accused:
FANEITE

Knowingly concerned in importation

1553.6g (pure)

VG

nil

8y
NPP 4y 8m

AA
7y 6m
NPP 4y 8m

Controlled delivery of shoes containing cocaine. Just above courier.
Failure to give discount for assistance and to take into account prior good character. Venezuelan.

Crowdey
(39)
NSW CCA [24]
5.3.1999

Knowingly concerned in import

See facts

PG

 

2y 6m
NPP 1y 6m

Crown AA
4y
NPP 2y 6m

Police seized 37.9g cocaine following controlled delivery to A. Principal local distributor to established small network of users. Made personal profit. Received 10 envelopes over 15 months. Total value over $100,000.
Under powerful influence of co-offender. Psychiatric condition.

Blanco
(22)
(1999) 106 A Crim R 303

Knowingly concerned in import

341.2g

PG

minor

12y
NPP 8y

AA
10y 6m
NPP 7y
(delay in charging)

Well above courier - Recruited co-offender to bring in drugs from Bolivia.

Ocampo- Campuzano
NSW CCA [179]
2.7.1999

Import

844.6g (pure)

PG

not stated

8y
NPP 5y

AD

Courier. Drugs found in bottom of suitcase.
Colombian citizen. Family overseas threatened by principal.

Cajuires
(52)
NSW CCA [282]
10.9.1999

Import

712.49g (pure)

PG

nil

8y 6m
NPP 6y 6m

AA
7y
NPP 4y 6m

Courier. Drugs found in lining of backpack. Guatemalan living in USA.

Acosta
(55)
NSW CCA [334]
22.10.1999

Import

1.879kg

VG

nil

8y
NPP 6y

AA
8y
NPP 5y

Courier. Arrived from Argentina with liquor bottle filled with cocaine.
Financial troubles - supporting wife and five children. Colombian.

Quansah
(31)
NSW CCA [64]
31.3.2000

Import

643.7g (pure)

PG

 

4y 8m
NPP 2y 6m

Crown AA
6y
NPP 4y

Drugs found in wooden statue. Judge rejected claim drugs for personal use but accepted drug addiction. Dealt with as principal - organised purchase of drugs in South America and intended to use some cocaine and sell the rest.

Toro-Martinez
(2000) 114 A Crim R 522

Knowingly concerned in import

655.2g

PG

no priors

3y 6m
NPP 2y

Crown AA
6y
NPP 3y

Became involved late in importation. Involved in meetings and assisted chemist employed to extract cocaine. Assistance not vital to offence.

Contreras-Ortiz
NSW CCA [328]
11.8.2000

Knowingly concerned in import

930g (pure)

VG

 

15y
NPP 11y

AD

Received cocaine hidden in projector sent from Buenos Aries. Relatively senior level of involvement.

DLH
(52)
NSW CCA [376]
1.9.2000

Knowingly concerned in import

1.153.4g (pure)

PG

nil

4y
NPP 12m

Crown AD

Cocaine imported as paste in audio tape reels - Package addressed to respondent’s business - To receive $12,000 - Low in criminal hierarchy.
Full admissions - Assisted in subsequent controlled delivery - Long standing drug addiction - Poor health - Suicide attempt - Depression

Ceissman
(20)
(2001) 119 A Crim R 535

Knowingly concerned in import

344.4g (pure)

PG

not unfavourable

3y
NPP 18m

Crown AA
4y 6m
NPP 2y 9m

Received drugs inside teddy bear posted overseas. Paid $50 to receive and hold on to packages until collection and remit money to US. Not isolated offence.
Deprived background - remorse - depressive illness - health problems resulting from accident - responsible for younger brother

Szelenczy
NSW CCA [75]
16.3.2001

Co-offenders:
CERULLO
SOUKOULIS

Import

614.4g (pure)

PG

nil relevant

9y
NPP 5y

AD

Travelled overseas and upon return took delivery of parcel containing Bible with cocaine inside. Lesser degree of responsibility than co-offenders but greater than mere courier. Used false documentation when sending parcel.
Psychological and physical ill health - South African - rehabilitation - offences committed for financial gain.

Klein
(2001) 121 A Crim R 90

Import

513.7g (pure)

PG

nil

3y 9m
NPP 2y 6m

Crown AD

Female - When apprehended at airport admitted carrying drugs - Believed she was carrying marijuana - Courier - Motivated by debt
Offered assistance to police - contrite - separated from family in South Africa

Chanthaboury
(2001) 121 A Crim R 505

Co-accused:
VERGARA

Import

approx 1kg

PG (after hung jury)

nil

7y 6m
NPP 4y 6m

AA
6y
NPP 4y

Cocaine found in lining of suitcase - aware of drugs but not how they got there - to received $12,000.
Involved in controlled delivery - bare or mere courier but greater role than co-offender.
Assistance.

Chapple
NSW CCA [183]
11.5.2001

Knowingly concerned in import
Attempt obtain possession of cocaine

79g (pure)

PG

appalling record - 3 major drug offences

5y
NPP 3y 6m
FT 12m (concurrent)

AA
4y
NPP 2y 6m

Opened post office boxes and received drugs through mail - Principal on own behalf - Most of drug for own use.
Tragic life as a result of drug addiction.

Quesada
(37)
(2001) 122 A Crim R 218

Knowingly concerned in importation

1,306.8g (pure)

VG

first custodial sentence

10y
NPP 7y

AA
10y
NPP 6y

Female - Picked up backpack containing drugs from female who had brought it in on overseas flight - Precise nature of involvement not known.
Colombian - Single mother with 2 children.

Hendricks
(24)
(2001) 125 A Crim R 303

Import

162.7g (net)

PG

nil

6y 6m
NPP 4y 3m

AD

Arrived having swallowed drugs - courier with low level trafficable quantity.
Financial gain only - South African - signs of depression - Contrition

Boulghourgian
(26)
(2001) 125 A Crim R 540

Knowingly import

114.5g

VG

supply drugs

6y
NPP 4y

AD

Cocaine concealed in a car radio cassette player sent from the United States in a parcel intercepted by customs. Police substituted for the drug an inert substance. Appellant entered FedEx office, signed for the parcel under a false name and left in his car. The car was intercepted by police.
Lack of remorse. Significant role (principal). Sophisticated scheme. Potential considerable profit.
Note: Although there was error detected in the reasoning process of TJ, in that it was based on the guideline judgment of R v Wong & Leung (now overturned by High Court), having regard to all subjective matters and objective criminality, there was no error in the sentence imposed.

Hamzy
(19)
(2001) 127 A Crim R 70

2 x knowingly concerned importation

772.6g (pure)
713.69g (pure)

PG

 

9y
NPP 5y 6m

Crown AA
13y 6m
NPP 8y

Initiator and director of 2 importations while in US - On bail for supply offences. Absconded. Voluntarily returned to Australia to face charges. Disadvantaged background.

Vergara
NSW CCA [314]
26.7.2002

Co-accused:
Chanthaboury

Import

1 kg

VG

 

8y
NPP 5y

AA
6y
NPP 4y

Cocaine found in suitcase. Courier - lesser role than co-offender. Parity.

Gallego
NSW CCA [529]
17.12.2002

Import

1114.9g (pure)

PG

nil known

8y 6m
NPP 5y 6m

AD

Imported drugs in golf bag - Assume no higher than courier
Spanish national

Vasquez
NSW CCA [94]
14.3.2003

Knowingly concerned in importation

649.5g (pure)

PG

 

9y
NPP 6y

AD

Drugs mailed in suitcase intercepted by police – Controlled delivery – Significant role in organising, collecting, unpacking and attempted acquisition

Karipidis
(21)
NSW CCA [168]
25.6.2003

Knowingly concerned in importation

See facts

PG

Significant

8y
NPP 4y 10m

AA
7y 10m
NPP 4y 10m

Involved in joint enterprise to import drugs from Uruguay – 2 packages picked up and delivered to K – Second package contained 175g (pure) - greater involvement than courier
Appeal allowed to take into account Pre sentence custody on head sentence

Cerullo

Soukoulis

NSW CCA [201]
31.7.2003

Co-offender:
SZELENCZY

Knowingly concerned in importation

Not stated – see co-offender

VG

Not stated

12y
NPP 8y

AD

Parcel of drugs posted by co-offender in Germany to co-offender – Principals
Motivated by greed

Minall
(34)
Watkins
(33)

NSW CCA [311]
11.11.2003

Import

437.3g (pure)

PG

Nil


Nil

7y 6m
NPP 5y

AD

Imported drugs internally from America – Well above couriers

Gutierrez
(36)
NSW CCA [22]
24.2.2004

Knowingly concerned import
Money laundering

Conspire to import

1.5-1.8kg



3-4kg planned

VG



PG

Imprisoned in Germany for similar offence – these offences committed 10m after release

Import:
10y

Conspiracy:
6y 9m

Money Laundering:
4y

Total:
13y 6m
NPP 8y

Crown AD

Cocaine imported in wine carried by co-offender – involved in attempting to separate drugs from wine – some cocaine sold and money used to finance second planned importation – representative of principals in scheme
Sought to launder $96,000 by sending travellers cheques to co-offenders in USA

Bartlett
(28)
NSWCCA [103]
23.3.2005

Import heroin

Import cocaine

306.8g pure cocaine
54g pure heroin

PG

Nil

7y
NPP 4y 2m

AD

Accepted money to import powder from South Africa in shoes and on sanitary pad – didn’t know what powder was – full admissions and early plea
Sexually abused as child – daily use of heroin since 2000 – 5y daughter, in care of ex-husband – anxiety and depression – remorse

 

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POST REPEAL s.16G

Case Offence Amount Plea Record Sentence Appeal Facts

PP
NSW CCA [214]
14.6.2005

Import

140.3g pure

PG

 

6y
NPP 4y

AA
5y 7m
NPP 3y 4m

Concealed 35 tablets in rectum – Courier – Some coercion
Australian – Wife and child overseas – Some assistance - Parity

Paliwala
(28)
NSW CCA [221]
9.6.2005

Import

384.9g pure

PG

Nil

9y
NPP 5y 6m

AD

Male student travelled to US to obtain cocaine – drugs brought into Australia internally and in backpack – courier to receive $20,000
Prior good character – suffering depression and financial difficulties

King
NSW CCA [110]
11.4.2006

Import

215.6g

PG

Nil

7y
NPP 4y 4m

AA
6y 6m
NPP 4y

Part of importation scheme with four co offenders – imported drugs internally – courier.
Offences committed due to financial difficulties.
Parity – imported less drugs than co offenders.

Korgbara
NSW CCA [84]
30.3.2007

Knowingly concerned in importation

 

VG

 

9y
NPP 5y 5m

AD

Controlled delivery made to mailbox leased to applicant – not low in hierarchy
Different cultural background – raped in custody – sever psychotic reaction - delay

Jules
(31)
NSW CCA [243]
10.8.2007

Import

520.1g (76% pure)

PG

 

7y
NPP 4y 4m

AD

Part of importation scheme with four co offenders – imported drugs internally (100 pellets) – courier.
Offences committed due to financial difficulties.
Parity. Foreign national.
See King [2006] NSWCCA 110; PP [2005] NSWCCA 214 (above)

Michel
NSWCCA [337]
5.12.2007

Co-offenders:
VIERA
TEEHAN

Conspiracy to import

601.6g

PG

Previous drug conviction for same offence – breached parole.

14y
NPP 8y 9m

AD

NB: Previous drug conviction for same offence; accordingly s 235(1)(c) increased the maximum period of imprisonment for the current offence from 25 years to life.
Principal in 12month conspiracy – co-conspirators described as “errand boys” – street value of $240k.

Starmer
(37)
NSW CCA [27]
15.2.2008

Conspiracy to import

32.4g

PG

 

3y
NPP 18m

AD

Arranged with sister to send cocaine in cards from Great Britain – personal use and sold some to friends

 

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CRIMINAL CODE

Case Offence Amount Plea Record Sentence Appeal Facts

Navasardian
(31)

Petrosyan
(28)
NSW CCA [108] 17.4.2009NN (31)


AP
(28)

NSW CCA [108]
17.4.2009

 

Possess


Aid and abet importation

Possess


 

Aid and abet importation

1.753kg1.753kg

PG


PGPG


PG

Minor


MinorMinor


Minor

8y 4m
NPP 5y 3m

7y 9m
NPP 4y 10m8y 4m
NPP 5y 3m

7y 9m
NPP 4y 10m

AA
6y 6m
NPP 4y

6y
NPP 3y 8mAA
6y 6m
NPP 4y

6y
NPP 3y 8m

Cocaine imported in brake drum – N to take delivery of imported package – low in hierarchy – P ennobled in facilitating delivery of package
40% discount for guilty plea and assistance – married with children – Armenian – reasonable prospects of rehabilitation  Cocaine imported in brake drum – N to take delivery of imported package – low in hierarchy – P ennobled in facilitating delivery of package
40% discount for guilty plea and assistance – married with children – Armenian – reasonable prospects of rehabilitation

Chong
(26)
NSWDC [377]
Williams DCJ
17.12.2009

Import

151.1g (pure)

PG

Drug offences in America

6y
NPP 3y 6m

 

American female – carried drugs into Australia sewn into bra and underwear – agreed to bring out drugs for ex-boyfriend – under influence of drug use – did not fully understand what she was doing – ‘not the usual type of courier’
Drug user – some prospects of rehabilitation

De La Rosa
NSW CCA [194]
17.9.2010

Import

1870g

PG

Significant

8y
NPP 5y

AD

Role of courier – delivered drugs.
[CCA reviews number of sentence cases].

Brink
NSW CCA [217]
22.9.2010

Import
(cocaine and heroin)

210.5g cocaine
281.9g heroin.

PG

 

8y 6m
NPP 5y

AD

Brought in drugs concealed in picture frames from South Africa – suspicious that frames contained drugs
Amputated leg

Nikolovska

(48)

NSW CCA [169]

22.12.2010
Import 1.431kg (pure) minor

6y NPP 9y 3m

Crown AA

7y 6m

NPP 4y 9m

Female - Cocaine imported in oil filters – employee of Qantas Distribution Centre – assisted in arranging flights overseas for co-offender, monitoring arrival of packages and passing on information – was intended recipient of package to pass on to co-offender – ‘strategically placed facilitator intended to be the receiver and meant to be the deliverer of the importation’ – breach of trust

Loss of career

Nakhla

NSW CCA [143]

24.6.2011
Import 1.96kg (1.431kg pure) PG 9y 6m NPP 5y 9m AD Cooffender Nikolovska [2010] NSWCCA 169.

Travelled overseas to make arrangements for the dispatch of drugs – cocaine imported in oil filters - given $10k cash to pay cooffender – although other persons were higher in organisation, A was a “trusted lieutenant” and an extremely active participant.

Assistance to authorities

Lindsay

(44)

NSW CCA [124]

14.6.2012

Import

400g (352.1g pure)

PG

Lengthy. Drugs, stealing, dishonesty

8y 6m NPP 5y 6m

AD

Full facts not provided. Not a mere courier - involvement included booking his travel and his hotel accommodation

Hay

NSWCCA [22]

13.2.2013

Conspiracy to import

Possess

250.7g (pure)

VG

 

7y

NPP 4y

AD

Driver for airline catering company became involved in conspiracy to import – co-offender retrieved cocaine hidden in rubbish receptacle in toilet by passenger

AB

NSWCCA [333]

23.12.2013

Import

400g (pure)

PG

Nil

5y

NPP 2y 6m

AD

Female - Travelled from Malaysia having swallowed 66 pellets containing drugs – pregnant at the time.

Assistance

 

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District Court Cases

Case Offence Amount Plea Record Sentence Appeal Facts

Robillard
NSWDC [115]
Berman SC DCJ
11.5.2007

Import

750g (pure)

PG

Nil

7y 6m
NPP 4y 6m

 

Canadian – imported cocaine strapped to leg – not a principal
Good prospects of rehabilitation

Toure
NSWDC [335]
Berman SC DCJ
5.12.2008

Import

843.5g (pure)

PG

 

7y 6m
NPP 4y 6m

 

Female – French - Courier – drugs secreted on body – committed for financial reward -
Sick daughter