Daniela Dujin is the latest person sentenced over the Love Heart synthetic drug racket.
Daniela Dujin is the latest person sentenced over the Love Heart synthetic drug racket. JOHN WEEKES

Sex shop deadly fake weed racket revealed

SHE was a pawn in a deadly game.

But a judge says when Daniela Dujin faced the threat of losing her sex shop job, she kept on selling harmful synthetic marijuana.

Dujin, 38, was a Mackay Love Heart employee and her sentencing on Monday followed that of the drug operation ringleaders last week.

Two people died in January 2015 after taking the fake weed.

The product, marketed as tea, was a leafy substance on which chemicals were sprayed.

The product was sold under the counter to trusted customers at Love Heart stores in Rockhampton, Mackay, Bundaberg and Toowoomba.

Brisbane District Court heard Dujin did not know the product was illegal.

And there was no sign Dujin received any extra income from the synthetic marijuana trade.

"You certainly didn't receive any commission," Judge Leanne Clare said on Monday.

But the judge added: "The teas were kept in the back of the store and you must have known that they were to be smoked.

"Certainly towards the end, you must have closed your eyes because you wanted to keep your job."

The court heard that after police seized the "tea" from customers, Dujin rang the "owner" and asked about the fake weed's legal status.

She was told Love Heart would seek legal advice about the product.

"It seems that that afternoon you decided to continue to selling but only to regular customers," Judge Clare told Dujin.

The 38-year-old, who had no previous criminal record, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking.

Dujin was given 12 months jail but the term was suspended immediately.

Love Heart owner David Andre Jules Piccinato and his operations manager Ross McGlone were both jailed last week.

At their sentencing on Thursday, the court heard Love Heart employees were threatened after raising concerns about the fake marijuana's safety and legality.

Judge Brian Devereaux said worried staff were told they'd "lose their jobs unless they sold it."

Judge Devereaux said 32 people were hospitalised in Mackay alone after smoking the product. -NewsRegional