A SIX-TIME Bendigo drug trafficker has been jailed for a minimum of six months after she was caught in possession of 49.3 grams of ice – enough for 493 street deals.
Sharni Bryant, 24, pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court last week to 11 charges, including possession a traffickable amount of drugs.
The court heard she was just 0.7 grams short of the charge of trafficking a commercial quantity, which would have resulted in a significantly steeper sentence in the County Court.
Police raided a house in Smith Street, North Bendigo, on November 8 where Bryant was living at the time.
An officer spotted her attempting to hide a plastic bag between cushions on the couch, but Bryant said she was only trying to hide a set of digital scales.
The plastic bag contained two smaller bags. One had 27.8 grams of ice, and the other had 21.5 grams.
The 49.3 grams of ice had a potential street value of between $17,000 and $45,000, the court was told.
Bryant’s mobile phone contained messages relating to the sale of drugs, spanning multiple months in 2017.
Police also found a samurai sword, knuckle dusters and a machete. Text messages also mentioned the possible location of a firearm underneath the house.
Bryant denied knowledge of the ice, telling police it was “not her’s, she’s never seen them before”.
Bryant was also charged in relation to using a fake identification to attempt to steal a vacuum cleaner from Godfrey’s in Bendigo, trespassing in a house on Olympic Parade in Kangaroo Flat and possessing cannabis.
Defence counsel Robert Timms said Bryant had achieved some qualifications during her 77 days in custody.
Bryant told the court she was committed to quitting her drug habit and moving away from Bendigo.
She has previously been sentenced for drug trafficking on five occasions, receiving sentences of two months jail, 36 days jail and community corrections orders.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Martin Friend said the community had an expectation that an offender like Bryant would be given the opportunity to be properly rehabilitated in custody.
He said it was serious offending.
“There’s 500 doses that could potentially be spread among the community,” Senior Constable Friend said.
“That’s a significant amount of the population that could be threatened by this drug.
“The question is: what is it going to take to help her?”
Magistrate Patrick Southey said it was one of the most serious ice trafficking cases that has come before the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court for several years.
“If you stay away from the drugs your prospects of rehabilitation are probably excellent. If you use ice again, your prospects are not so good,” he said.
Bryant was sentenced to 18 months jail with a non-parole period of six months. She was fined $200 for cannabis possession.