METH LAB: A Murray Street house opposite Browne Park where a drug lab was discovered, is sealed with police tape.
METH LAB: A Murray Street house opposite Browne Park where a drug lab was discovered, is sealed with police tape. Chris Ison ROK250814cpolice3

Rockhampton businessman turns 'first-time drug chemist'

ADAM John Maxwell was caught with an eight-page document for "the first-time chemist" on how to make MDMA five years ago. Two years later he was busted at two clandestine laboratories in Rockhampton.

The repeat drug offender pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking and two of producing dangerous drugs in the Supreme Court of Rockhampton on Monday.

The 43-year-old Rockhampton former tiling and bobcat business operator had been found in 2012 with a document titled "Complete MDMA synthesis for the first-time chemist", the court heard from the crown prosecutor as she read out his criminal history.

The first production charge was in relation to a search of a Waterloo St, Frenchville, residence on May 15, 2014 and the second was in relation to a search of a Murray St, Rockhampton, residence on August 24, 2014.

One of the three men Maxwell was found with under the Murray St house in 2014 was sentenced in the Rockhampton District Court on Wednesday.

James Gordon McGregor, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of permitting his residence to be used for producing methamphetamine and was sentenced to 12 months prison, immediately suspended for two years.

Read the full story here: Grandfather allowed 'crude' meth lab set up under house

While Maxwell was on bail for the production charges, he was busted trafficking drugs between September 13, 2016 and October 2, 2016, via 65 Facebook messages and SMS on his phone.

Crown prosecutor Megan Jones said Maxwell sold "half balls and ball" quantities on at least seven occasions, along with supplying points of methamphetamine.

She said police found tick sheets involving 24 customers, $24,150 cash, 100 empty clip seal bags, one LSD tablet, a large quantity of pseudoephedrine tablets and 4.906 grams of pure meth.

The court heard Maxwell would sometimes meet clients at hotels he booked.

With regards to the laboratories, the court heard there were 117 drug production items found at the Frenchville address and 32 at the Murray Street residence.

Defence barrister Scott Moon outlined Maxwell's history prior to the drug offending, including being the son of a prominent Rockhampton accountant and founder of The Rock Building Society, John Maxwell, as well as his client owning and operating a tiling and bob cat business for 15 years.

Mr Moon said an accident in 2006 left Maxwell in hospital for five weeks with severe injuries and he turned to drugs to relieve the pain afterwards.

He said Maxwell told him he viewed the day he learned how to produce illicit drugs "was a curse".

"It's (drugs) obviously ruined your life," Justice Duncan McMeekin said.

Maxwell received a head sentence of four years prison for the trafficking charge, suspended after 15 months and operational for five years.

He had spent 410 non-declarable days in custody prior to sentencing.



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