'Secretary' to alleged drug dealer paroled

EVEN drug dealers need secretaries it seems.

A man has spent seven months in jail for answering an alleged major drug dealer's phone and collecting money on his behalf.

Stephen Trevor Murphy, 30, was released on parole on Tuesday after pleading guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court to trafficking methylamphetamine and cannabis.

Murphy had spent seven months behind bars before being sentenced.

The court heard Murphy was living with an alleged major Sunshine Coast drug dealer and was answering his phone calls and providing drugs to buyers when the man was away.

The alleged dealer, who is set to appear in court later this week, is alleged to have had more than 150 customers and sold to numerous people on a daily basis.

Murphy acted in what the court heard was an "almost secretarial role" answering the alleged dealer's phone and speaking to customers between June 5, 2013, and June 22, 2013.

His involvement in the operation ended when he was arrested on a prison warrant - but when he was released he returned to the same house.

While he did not return to a major role in trafficking drugs, on a single occasion Murphy collected between $300 and $400 meant for the alleged dealer from a buyer who was in debt.

Police intercepted Murphy's phone but they were unable to establish how much money Murphy received or drugs Murphy sold because of the "covert nature" of the calls.

The court heard since being jailed on the charges he had begun to turn his life around. He had reconnected with his mother and sister, who wrote references tendered to the court.

Justice Glenn Martin said Murphy's actions were an "unusual set of facts" in relation to drug trafficking.

Murphy was sentenced to three years jail with an immediate release on parole.


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