A BENDIGO drug trafficker who was found with a sawn-off rifle, drugs, and more than $8000 in cash has been jailed for 15 months.
Mark Adam Swift, 33, was sentenced in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to charges including trafficking a drug of dependence and prohibited person possessing a firearm.
The court heard about 2.35am on August 18, officers saw a white ute speed through the intersection of Camp Street and High Street in Kangaroo Flat.
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Swift was driving the vehicle, with an associate in the passenger seat.
When officers spoke to the 33-year-old, he told them he had about $4700 in cash in his pocket. The police counted the cash and found $8100.
The officers searched the vehicle and found about two grams of methamphetamine, close to 20 grams of ketamine, 20ml of olanzapine, half a tablet of MDMA, and a sawn-off rifle.
Swift was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
The 33-year-old was arrested and taken to the Bendigo Police Station for questioning.
He told police he had won a large sum of money at the pokies, which is why he had the cash in his possession.
Swift denied trafficking drugs and said the methamphetamine was for personal use, while the sawn-off rifle was used to shoot rabbits.
Defence lawyer Stephanie Gillahan told the court Swift's offending represented a significant relapse into drug use.
Ms Gillahan said after Swift served a jail term in 2018, he engaged well with work and was clean from drugs.
But she said Swift was stabbed three times and hit in the head with an axe last year, which led to his relapse.
Ms Gillahan said Swift used up all of his savings to buy drugs so he turned to trafficking.
The defence lawyer submitted that Swift had the modified firearm to protect himself after the assault.
Ms Gillahan said Swift had already served 91 days of pre-sentence detention, which had been particularly burdensome due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
The defence lawyer said Swift had previously completed parole and appreciated having that structure in his life.
Magistrate Megan Aumair said the offending was "very serious", especially the combination of the drugs and the weapon.
Ms Aumair said a term of imprisonment with a non-parole period was the only appropriate sentence.
Swift was convicted and jailed for 15 months, with a non-parole period of nine months. His 91 days of pre-sentence detention were reckoned as already served.
If Swift did not plead guilty, he would have been jailed for 32 months with a non-parole period of 20 months.
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