The Offence of Supplying a Commercial Quantity of Prohibited Drugs in New South Wales

by Sonia Hickey & Ugur Nedim
Bondi St

A Sydney woman described as a ‘Bondi party girl’ who pleaded guilty to supplying a commercial quantity of cocaine over her participation in a dial-a-dealer drug supply operation has been sentenced to imprisonment.

26-year old Danielle Hogan earned herself a reputation as Bondi’s cocaine pin-up girl after being arrested at her Bondi home for dealing cocaine for a multi-million dollar drug syndicate.

Now, she faces a full term of three years and ten months behind.

Wanted to get out

Since her arrest in November 2019, Ms Hogan has been the subject of intense media and social media attention and speculation.

During her sentencing hearing in in the Downing Centre District Court, Ms Hogan’s criminal defence lawyer told the court that their client had decided to end her involvement in the syndicate just two weeks before her arrest, despite mounting debts to the tune of $40,000.

The lawyer further submitted that Ms Hogan had been told their would be consequences for her leaving, although no attempt was made the rely on the legal defence of duress.

The court further heard that until her arrest, Ms Hogan believed that cocaine was just a harmless ‘party drug’ and did not fully realise the harm that illicit drugs were doing to society.

The court also heard that Ms Hogan was the lowest in the syndicate’s hierarchy, acting as a ‘runner’ for just $25 per delivery.

The prosecution submitted that the syndicate supplied about 200 bags of cocaine to customers each week for $300 each, estimating the annual earnings at  $3.1 million.

The Presiding Judge took into account Ms Hogan’s plea of guilty, her attempts towards rehabilitate and her genuine remorse.

Given time already served behind bars, she will be eligible for release on parole in April 2023.

Supplying a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs

Supplying a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs is an offence under section 25 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).

It is a strictly indictable offence, which means it must be finalised in a higher court such as the District Court or the Supreme Court.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  • A person supplied, or knowingly took part in the supply of, a substance,
  • The substance was a prohibited drug,
  • The person knew, or believed at the time, that the substance was a prohibited drug, and
  • The amount of the drug was the commercial quantity.

To ‘supply’ means:

  • To sell or distribute,
  • To agree or offer to supply,
  • To keep or possess for supply,
  • To send, forward, deliver or receive for supply, or
  • To authorise, direct, cause, suffer, permit or attempt any of the above.

To ‘knowingly take part in supply’ means:

  • To take or participate in any step of the supply process, or causing any such step to be taken,
  • To provide or arrange finance for any step in the supply process, or
  • To provide the premises for any step in the supply process, or suffer or permit any such step to be taken in a premises for which the person is the owner, lessee, occupier or manager.

What is a commercial quantity?

The relevant quantity for drugs for the purpose of offences under NSW state law is the ‘admixture’, which is the entire quantity of the substance which contains the prohibited drug, not just the pure quantity of the drug within that substance.

Commercial quantities for the purpose of the Act are:

Drug Type Commercial Quantity
Ecstacy (MDMA) 125grams
Cocaine 250grams
Amphetamines 250grams
Heroin 250grams
Cannabis 25kg

What are the maximum penalties?

The maximum penalty for supplying a commercial quantity of prohibited drugs is 20 years in prison and/or 3500 penalty units, or 15 years and/or 3500 penalty units if the offence relates to cannabis.

A penalty unit is currently $110 in New South Wales.

Going to court for commercial drug supply?

If you have been accused of commercial drug supply, contact Sydney Criminal Lawyers anytime on (02) 9261 8881 to secure the services of exceptional criminal defence lawyers with an outstanding track record of receiving optimal results in serious drug cases.

Our experienced team has developed techniques over more than 20 years to defend and win serious drug matters, and some of our notable victories include winning Australia’s largest ever heroin importation trial – where all three of our clients were found not guilty, while the remaining three co-accused, represented by other criminal law firms, were found guilty.

We have achieve bail in circumstances that appeared insurmountable, such as when our clients were allegedly caught importing 300kgs of drugs, and in several other cases where the co-accused, represented by other law firms, were refused bail.

We often win cases after clients have seen other criminal lawyers who have advised them to plead guilty, through our in-depth knowledge of the applicable laws and procedures, meticulous preparation, proactively building defence cases (rather than simply adjourning cases to await prosecution materials), and implementation of effective defence strategies.

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Authors

Sonia Hickey

Sonia Hickey is a freelance writer, magazine journalist, and owner of 'Woman with Words'. She has a strong interest in social justice and is a member of the Sydney Criminal Lawyers® content team. Sonia is the winner of the Mondaq Thought Leadership Awards, Autumn 2021.

Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with 24 years of experience as a Criminal Defence Lawyer. He is the Principal of Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.

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