MMA fighter hit with jail term for drug business debt collecting
A "HARD man" and MMA fighter who subbed in to run a Cairns drug trafficking business for several weeks while the alleged bosses were away has been handed a jail sentence of more than six years.
For about nine weeks in 2017 Gokhan "Pitbull" Turkyilmaz, 33, flew between Bali, Cairns, Townsville and Sydney, predominantly debt collecting for a methylamphetamine business allegedly being run by Polish father and son Wieslaw and Bryan Stasiak.
The Cairns Supreme Court heard yesterday Turkyilmaz paid himself a "wage" of just over $16,000 for his efforts, while staying in Cairns hotel rooms.
He pleaded guilty last month to drug trafficking, cannabis possession and contravening an order.
When police raided one of these hotel rooms while closing the drug operation on September 8, 2017, they found just over $40,000 hidden in a computer case and seized four phones, one of which had the encryption application Wickr downloaded.
The court heard bank records showed transfers to Bryan Stasiak's account while he was away, while phone taps recorded calls between the pair.
"Mr Turkyilmaz was the man on the ground when (the Stasiaks) were overseas," Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane told the court.
The court was also told while on bail for this offence that Turkyilmaz was also charged over a shootout between the Rebels and Bandidos at a Gold Coast shopping centre, although his defence barrister Justin Gregory argued he was not there and was only charged through text messages linked to the altercation.
He described his client as a "hard man … but a genuinely decent one" who was involved in a short period of offending more than two years ago.
Justice Jim Henry sentenced him to six years' jail, plus a further six months for refusing to allow police to access his phone, with a parole eligibility date in December next year.
The Stasiaks are fighting their drug trafficking charges and are due to go on trial in July.