Apprenticeship wasted on guns, drugs
HE LEFT town for an apprenticeship and on returning home, found his old mates were all using drugs.
A court on Wednesday heard Gympie man Benjamin Daniel Stewart, now 28, decided to sell and make drugs himself.
But his "rudimentary backyard set-up" had explosive consequences, defence counsel Adrian Braithwaite said.
Stewart moved away from Gympie to Caboolture for a bricklaying apprenticeship.
When he moved back "his circle of friends had started using speed", Mr Braithwaite said.
Brisbane Supreme Court heard Stewart trafficked methylamphetamine, known as ice, and also started making the drug.
Mr Braithwaite said four out of five "rudimentary backyard" attempts failed, and "a couple of them blew up".
But Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso said Stewart engaged in "street-level trafficking" of ice and "was ultimately successful" in producing the drugs.
Ms Kelso said Stewart used his former partner in the business.
It was not established how much money Stewart made from selling drugs but the Crown wanted a forfeiture order for an amount "just shy of $4800".
The prosecutor said Stewart's business was at the "upper edge of street level trafficking".
Stewart pleaded guilty to drug possession and trafficking charges and to weapon charges.
Justice David Boddice said Stewart "disturbingly" had a silencer and a self-loading rifle.
The court heard Stewart produced drugs for almost 18 months and trafficked from October 2016 to April 2017.
Apart from ice, Stewart was also found with about 5kg of marijuana.
Stewart was sentenced to five years' jail.
He had already been in custody for about 16 months and will be eligible for parole on August 16 next year. -NewsRegional