Do the crime, do the time: Nine years’ jail for rookie drug dealer

An 11-week stint as a drug trafficker and gun runner has earned a Queensland man nine years in prison.

Mar 04, 2022, updated Mar 04, 2022
Adrian Somerville arrives at the Brisbane Supreme Court in Brisbane. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Adrian Somerville arrives at the Brisbane Supreme Court in Brisbane. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Adrian Joseph Somerville, 34, of Greenbank south of Brisbane, pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday to selling cocaine, methamphetamines and firearms from March to May 2020.

The father of three was arrested in May 2020 after selling drugs and weapons to an undercover police officer during the 11-week period.

Somerville had unwittingly supplied the undercover officer an ounce of meth on five occasions – $80,300 worth – and had offered to organise another 458g for $108,000 before he was intercepted.

He also sold the officer four weapons – three rifles and a revolver – for $46,500 and was negotiating another deal to supply firearms for prices ranging from $5000 to $20,000.

When police intercepted Somerville’s car in May 2020, they found seven grams of meth and a scooter with a secret compartment used to deliver drugs.

Crown prosecutor James Bishop said Somerville was at one stage selling half a kilogram of meth a day that he had purchased for prices ranging from $176,000 to $210,000.

He also sold significant quantities of cocaine, at one stage sending the undercover officer a picture of a number of packets of the drug that were for sale.

Somerville had dabbled in drugs before losing his job during the Covid-19 pandemic following a marriage breakdown, defence barrister Angus Edwards said.

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The former concreter and mine worker became addicted and resorted to illegal trafficking to pay his two mortgages.

“He fell into difficult times and made terrible choices,” Mr Edwards said.

Justice David Jackson said Somerville’s trafficking “went well beyond personal addiction and into … a private enterprise where you were seeking to make ends meet but with the amounts in question, probably even more”.

He said Somerville had co-operated, leading police to a weapons stash hidden under a Beaudesert bridge in February 2022.

Somerville was sentenced to nine years and will be eligible for parole in March 2027.

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