Dealer threatens to shoot customers for unpaid debt

A MAN who trafficked 80g of methamphetamine threatened to shoot customers who owed him money.

Heath Daryl Murch, 41, trafficked methamphetamine and cannabis between February 28 and September 27 last year.

The Townsville Supreme Court heard Murch had 19 customers and ­offered and supplied drugs 48 times ­between July and September last year.

He sold methamphetamine in half balls and balls measuring 1.75g and 3.5g and would buy 28g for $6300.

Murch told police he usually sold cannabis in ounces for $325 but on one occasion supplied half a pound.

Prosecuting for the crown, Dominique Orr said a tick sheet was found ­during a police raid that revealed Murch was owed $2000 from nine ­customers.

"On a number of isolated occasions the defendant himself threatened violence to motivate his customers to make repayments," she said.

"There was reference to the defendant saying, 'Just to let you know the guns are loaded and will be used'."

Ms Orr said Murch trafficked more than 80g of methamphetamine in three months.

Murch pleaded guilty to four charges including trafficking in dangerous drugs.

Defence barrister Harvey Walters said Murch started using methamphetamine in 2016 and "got caught in the trap of owing money".

"It was like a cat chasing its tail.

"He was in the inevitable trap of being caught owing money and then continuing on to having involve himself in the trafficking to try and pay off that debt."

Mr Walters said Murch had been ­diagnosed with dyslexia in school and had experienced a "difficult life".

Justice David North told Murch he was not a "low-level street trafficker" and the drug supplies he "routinely engaged in were significant".

"(You were a) busy and active trafficker moving a significant quantity of drugs and potentially turning over significant quantities of money," he said.

Justice North sentenced Murch to five years' jail.

A parole eligibility date was set at October 23 next year.



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