A BENDIGO drug trafficker has been given an opportunity to avoid a conviction.
The 18-year-old man appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to charges of trafficking ketamine, possessing cocaine and cannabis, and dishonestly retaining stolen goods.
The court heard police began investigating the 18-year-old on December 25 last year. On April 7, detectives executed a search warrant at his North Bendigo home.
During the search, officers found 3.34 grams of ketamine, 23.32 grams of cannabis, 0.69 grams of cocaine, 0.2 grams of methamphetamine, and $1025 in cash.
Detectives also located scales, tick sheets, a taser, cartridge ammunition, and an outstanding stolen chainsaw.
Defence lawyer Glen Cooper told the court the man started using drugs at about 14 years old, which resulted in a falling out with his parents.
Mr Cooper said the 18-year-old subsequently spent about six months couch surfing and sleeping rough.
It was during that period that the man's drug use escalated, the defence lawyer said.
Mr Cooper submitted that the 18-year-old was trafficking drugs to fund his own habit so the charge was at the lower end of the scale.
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The defence lawyer said the man had complied with strict bail conditions and returned to living with his father ahead of his plans to start an apprenticeship.
Mr Cooper said a conviction could hinder the man's chances of gaining employment in the future. He submitted that a good behaviour bond without conviction was within range for the offending.
Magistrate Megan Aumair said she accepted that the 18-year-old was a young man who should be given the opportunity to avoid a conviction.
Ms Aumair said she would defer sentence for six months to see if the man could comply with more strict bail conditions.
The magistrate said if the 18-year-old complied, she would look to sentence him to a good behaviour bond without conviction.
The man was released on bail with conditions to not use drugs and to not reoffend. He is due to return to the Bendigo Magistrates' Court in April.
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