News

Cobram drug dealer jailed

By Cobram Courier

A Cobram man has been sentenced to four years and two months in prison for his role operating and leading a drug syndicate in the Cobram area.

Eric Burgess, 42, of Wills St, Cobram, was sentenced at the County Court in Shepparton on Monday.

He faced charges of trafficking a commercial quantity of GHB, possessing proceeds of crime and trafficking cannabis, oxycodone and methamphetamine.

Judge Gerard Mullaly summed up Burgess’ actions by saying he ‘‘traded in a range of illegal drugs’’.

‘‘You bought and secured significant amounts, you broke it down within smaller amounts,’’ he said.

The court heard Burgess finished working in 2013 and since then had paid to live through drug trafficking through six co-accused, who acted on his behalf.

On November 11, 2015, police began optical surveillance on his home in Cobram.

The prosecution case said a co-accused sold either one or two pounds of cannabis to the accused at a time, and in a six-month period he purchased at least $45000 worth.

The court heard telephone intercepts also demonstrated the accused was sourcing oxycodone tablets from various community members.

In June 2016, a search warrant was executed at Burgess’ home and as police attended, the accused took two plastic soft drink bottles of GHB and tipped them down the kitchen sink.

Judge Mullaly said it was difficult to be precise as to the quantity but said he was satisfied it was not less than a commercial quantity.

‘‘Drugs cause havoc in communities. Your offending was serious and organised,’’ he said.

‘‘It was your intention to make profit. It is clear you were in the business of trafficking and made profits as a result.’’

Judge Ryan sentenced Burgess to four years in prison with a minimum non-parole period of two years and nine months.

The accused, having already served 685 days on remand, will be eligible for parole in less than a year.