Drugs for cash.
Drugs for cash.

Feed the dogs, hand out drugs on house sitter's to do list

THE instructions were simple: look after the house, feed the dog. Oh, and hand out cannabis to customers.

A Golden Beach man wound up in front of a judge yesterday after house-sitting for a drug-dealing family member.

Kent Andrew Nelson, 28, was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, immediately suspended for three years, after pleading guilty in Maroochydore District Court to trafficking dangerous drugs.

The court was told that Nelson had agreed to look after the house and "business" for his cousin-by-marriage, Paul Stephens, and his de facto, Natalie Owen, for six days from October 27, 2011.

Crown prosecutor Alex Stark said Stephens told Nelson there would be no "walk-in" customers, only "pick-ups" of orders.

Stephens was described in a schedule of facts as a street-level dealer averaging two transactions a day of up to 26g or an ounce from the couple's house on the Nicklin Way, Wurtulla.

Stephens, Owen and Nelson were arrested after a police operation involving intercepts of telephone conversations.

Barrister Steve Courtney, representing Nelson, said his client was involved in only 10 "low-level" drug transactions.

Mr Courtney said his client did not receive anything in return for the house-sitting apart from a nice place to stay for a few days.

One of the recorded conversations involved Stevens telling Nelson to help himself to food, beer or chocolate in the fridge or T-bone steaks in the freezer, Mr Courtney said.

He said Nelson had moved on with his life and was now living with his girlfriend and child and working full-time as a forklift driver.

Judge John Robertson, in sentencing Nelson, said his trafficking had been at the lowest end of the scale.

Stephens was sentenced to periods of between six months and three and a half years in jail, to be suspended after he has served 14 months.

Owen, who pleaded guilty to three drug charges, was given immediate parole.