Man jailed over meth, ecstasy seizure

Jon SolmundsonGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Courthouse.
Camera IconGeraldton Courthouse. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

The Geraldton District Court has jailed a man for 20 months and declared him a drug trafficker, after he was found in Rudds Gully with more than 100g of methamphetamine and 574 ecstasy pills.

Sam Vincent Basile, 32, was in his vehicle on Brand Highway on July 11 when police pulled him over for a search.

Finding 1.67g of methamphetamine in his pocket, the officers proceeded to do a full search of the car — removing a plastic panel in the boot to reveal a vacuum sealed bag which contained 108g of methamphetamine at 59 per cent purity, and a stash of blue ecstasy pills at 15 per cent purity.

Basile was brought into the station for a police interview, but made no admissions.

Prosecutor Felicity Cain said Basile had initially been hesitant to comply with a strip search — but when he did agree officers found a meth pipe in his boxer shorts.

Basile pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, possession of MDMA with intent to sell or supply, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and a single count of simple possession of methamphetamines.

Defence counsel Darren Rendon said the catalyst for Basile’s offending had been “a series of tragic deaths”, firstly his father, then his best man.

“Where he was at rock bottom following the death of his father, the death of such a close friend pushed him through the floor,” he said.

Mr Rendon said Basile turned to methamphetamines, which locked him in an “insidious hold”, to the point that he agreed to transport the package of drugs just to get a few grams for himself.

He said Basile now understood the true impact of meth on the community, hence the weight of his crime, and his pre-sentence report had described him as having a low risk of re-offending.

Ms Cain said the State accepted that he was at the lower end of the drug distribution chain but a message needed to be sent to the community that even low-level drug couriers would be punished.

Judge Christopher Stevenson said the maximum penalty for selling or supplying drugs was 25 years jail, which reflected how seriously the WA Government saw the crime.

In particular he referred to a case he had presided over two weeks earlier, in which the offender was jailed for 16 years and six months for bringing drugs from Sydney across the Nullarbor.

However, he said it was unusual for the court to come across an offender with such strong chances of rehabilitation and he was satisfied Basile would return to being a contributing member of the community.

Basile’s sentence was backdated to September 16 and he was made eligible for parole.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails