Leigh Raymond Hepner
Leigh Raymond Hepner

Ice trafficker's world comes crashing down

ON THE surface ice trafficker Leigh Raymond Hepner sounded like a high roller.

He was selling huge amounts of methylamphetamines in the Port Douglas area at a wholesale and retail level.

But in reality Hepner was a mid-range supplier with an unsuccessful business.

He was losing cash and even had to give up his car to subsidise a drug debt.

The 36-year-old yesterday pleaded guilty to trafficking over eight months between December 2014 and July 2015.

Trafficking ice is considered a very serious offence by the courts and as such the penalties are harsh.

Hepner was jailed for eight years.

His father, who was in court for support, broke down after the sentence was handed down.

Crown prosecutor Melanie Franklin said Hepner would source half ounce quantities (14.175 grams) of methylamphetamines from co-accused Paul Graham and sell in smaller quantities.

Initially he paid $7000 for a half ounce, but this was reduced to $5000 when his cash flow dried up.

He had about seven regular customers, some of who would on sell to others.

Former Port Douglas man Leigh Hepner has been jailed for trafficking ice. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Former Port Douglas man Leigh Hepner has been jailed for trafficking ice. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

 

Graham was jailed for six and a half years with parole eligibility on in March 2019.

Ms Franklin said the exact quantity of drugs Hepner trafficked was unknown, however his suppler Graham sold 1.266 kilograms of ice the majority of which went to Hepner.

He had seven different phones and use code in his drug dealing which Ms Franklin said showed "some element of sophistication".

"While he was a user there is no evidence he was actually addicted," Ms Franklin said.

Melbourne barrister Greg Barns, for Hepner, said his client's trafficking had two motivations - to feed his own habit and to make money.

"There was a lot of using on my client's behalf," he said.

The court was told Hepner had been using ice since he was about 27 years old after his building company went bankrupt.

Former Port Douglas man Leigh Hepner, 34, is extradited back to Cairns from Melbourne by Queensland Police after being charged with drug trafficking. Leigh Hepner is escorted through the departures lounge at Cairns Airport. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Former Port Douglas man Leigh Hepner, 34, is extradited back to Cairns from Melbourne by Queensland Police after being charged with drug trafficking. Leigh Hepner is escorted through the departures lounge at Cairns Airport. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

 

Mr Barns said a psychologist report stated that Hepner had the "characteristics of a drugs misuse disorder".

He has been working for his father's business in Melbourne.

Hepner had told his psychologist he was drug free. Justice John Byrne AO said he would not accept that without evidence supporting the claims.

"You appear to have made some efforts to engage professional assistance that's to your credit." Justice Byrne said.

Hepner will be eligible for parole on December 19, 2019. A conviction was recorded.

News Corp Australia

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