A man jailed after an undercover police sting caught him trying to buy nearly $1 million worth of drugs will serve more time following another trafficking conviction.
James Webster, 39, will not be eligible for parole until at least 2020 after pleading guilty in Western Australia’s District Court to two counts of possession of methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply after he and an associate were caught with more than 600 grams of the drug in 2009.
The court was told on Thursday he sourced the high-purity batch in the eastern states and organised for it to be couriered to Perth.
After being arrested and bailed for that offence, Webster was then captured in an Australian Federal Police sting in 2010, when an undercover officer known as Rob played the role of a drug syndicate’s Mr Big.
In the hearing for that matter in February, the WA Supreme Court was told that Webster, a former chef, believed Rob to be an importer of drugs and was told he was going to receive two kilograms of high-grade methylamphetamine directly from the importer.
The court was told that if sold by the ounce in WA at 80 per cent purity, Webster could have expected a profit of $460,000.
“If you had been planning to cut it from 80 per cent to, say, 40 per cent purity, your profit would have been double that,” Justice Lindy Jenkins said.
The two sentences – including seven-and-a-half years for the 2009 convictions, to start in 2015, and 11 years for the 2010 offences – mean Webster will not be eligible for parole until July 2020.
The state has also seized about $2 million worth of Webster’s property under its proceeds of crime laws.