Former jail guard built 'terrible' drug business

The drug business turned over more than $100,000 - but cost him his marriage. (File)
The drug business turned over more than $100,000 - but cost him his marriage. (File) USAF/Staff. Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter

A BUILDER and former prison guard constructed a drug business raking in more than $100,000.

Rockhampton man Blair Edward Campbell, 52, threw a laptop bag into bushes when police pursued him.

Campbell was the target of North Copperhead, a police drug operation in June 2015.

Brisbane Supreme Court heard the laptop case had 11 bags of ice in it.

Campbell was also found to have tick sheets with 31 customer names inscribed.

At sentencing on Friday, prosecutor Ron Swannick said the drug trade had a "turnover of more than $100,000".

Campbell pleaded guilty to 13 charges including drug trafficking and possessing money and vehicles which were the proceeds of crime.

The former builder, prison guard, and Central Queensland businessman was owed about $245,000 for drug sales.

"He would source his drugs from Brisbane in bulk," Mr Swannick said.

Campbell became a builder in about 1985 but had "long since ceased" working in that trade by the time he was busted.

And though he made some money from drugs, Campbell's marriage of 32 years ended because of the illicit business.

Defence counsel Simon Lewis said Campbell's mother died while his client was in custody.

Campbell had a limited criminal history, Mr Lewis added.

He also spent an extraordinary amount of time in custody - almost two years and four months.

In custody, Campbell completed several courses, Mr Lewis said.

Justice Martin Burns described Campbell's crimes as "terrible offending".

"He took to trafficking with gusto ... it turned out to be quite profitable for him," the judge added.

Standing in the dock, Campbell put his head down.

"You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself," Justice Burns said.

"You abandoned your family responsibilities."

But Campbell still had several supporters in court.

The "unusually long period on remand" was considered when determining Campbell's sentence.

He was jailed for four years and eight months, wholly suspended for five years, and given immediate parole release.

Campbell was also fined $5890 for failing to stop a car.

Last year, an associate of Campbell's was jailed in Rockhampton Supreme Court.

The associate can apply for parole in May. -NewsRegional

Topics:  blair edward campbell custody drugs drug trafficking editors picks marriage methylamphetamine operation north copperhead qps tmbcourt tmbcrime

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