Jamie Hughes sentenced for involvement in drug running between Wagga and Forbes

THE fourth member of a drug ring involved in running cannabis between Wagga and Forbes has been given a chance to stay out of jail.

Jamie Hughes, 25, of Forbes, was placed on a 12-month intensive correction order in Wagga Local Court on Monday after pleading guilty to 10 counts of supplying cannabis in an amount greater than the indictable quantity but less than the commercial quantity and three counts of supplying a prohibited drug.

Agreed facts tendered to the court show Hughes and a co-offender, also from Forbes, paid Wagga man Louis Foster $131,250 for 16.65  kilograms of cannabis between November 6, 2015, and March 4, 2016.

Hughes and the other man were stopped by police after leaving Foster’s Lake Albert home on March 4.

The facts said police found 1.3kg of cannabis in the back of Hughes’ vehicle on the Sturt Highway.

Hughes denied an knowledge of the cannabis and was allowed to leave, pending further investigations by police, but the other man was arrested.

The other man later owned up to being the “ring leader” of supplying cannabis to Forbes users and was given an aggregate 28-month jail sentence in Wagga Local Court last November.

Foster was listed for sentence in Wagga District Court this month, but the matter was stood over to the May sittings.

A woman at the Wagga end of the drug supply has been given a suspended jail sentence.

According to the agreed facts, Hughes and the other offenders were uncovered by a police operation called Strike Force Jokic.

The facts said Hughes would accompany the other Forbes man on his trips to Wagga.

“The accused (Hughes) had knowledge that (the other man) was on-selling the cannabis in Forbes and would occasionally assist (the other man) with his drug supply activities,” the facts said.

“The accused did not share in the profits of the supply.”

The drug deals covered by the charges against Hughes involved Foster selling 900 grams of cannabis to the Forbes connection three times – twice for $6800 and once for $7500.

Then, from November 11, 2015, the weight of each deal increased to 1.3kg.

The Forbes connection paid between $10,200 and $10,750 for nine deals between November 12 and March 4, with the exception of February 2 when 1.8kg was supplied in exchange for $14,000.