The Surprising Loophole Defence Lawyers Use In Drug Trafficking Cases

The severity of a drug trafficking charge often depends on the amount of drugs, but in many cases, that’s up to the courtroom to estimate.

Generally, the fewer drugs trafficked, the lesser the severity of the sentence, Former Detective Noel told Crime Insiders.

While phone interception records might show how many trips a mule made, the quantity of drugs is often unknown.

This leaves it up to the prosecution and defence to argue what they estimate the amount was. This is called ‘quantum’.

Noel explains in this episode of Crime Insiders, ‘The Adelaide Drug Mule‘:

For context, a trafficable quantity is usually around three grams, a commercial quantity is usually between 100 and 250 grams, and a large commercial quantity often exceeds 750 kilograms.

In 2000, Former detective Noel investigated an ‘old-time crook’ who drove between Victoria and New South Wales every ten days.

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Highway patrol found a large amount of cash in the boot of his car. Police traced his phone conversations with people growing cannabis, and he was arrested.

Noel, who won’t be fully named due to operational reasons, said: “There was a big argument over quantum.”

Noel explains the grey area in this episode of Crime Insiders:

He told the court how many pounds of cannabis he believed was trafficked, but defence lawyers argued against him.

The defence try and actually knock that down to make it to lessen the gravity of the trafficking,”

Ex detective Noel said.

“Friends of the accused considered I was playing hardball and not caving in to bringing the quantities down […] I couldn’t have cared less, really. I’d done my job”

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