The former president of Wagga’s Finks chapter has been sentenced to 12 years and nine months’ jail for drug dealing.
Peter Yealland, 46, was sentenced on Tuesday after he confessed to 14 charges including supplying a large commercial quantity of ice and possessing a loaded gun.
He also pleaded guilty to supplying commercial quantities of ecstasy and ice as well as five additional counts of drug supply.
Yealland came undone when the Riverina Police District’s Strike Force Hun intercepted his car at Forest Hill in December, 2016, uncovering 498.2 grams of 79 per cent pure ice hidden in the airbag compartment.
Later that day, police searched two more cars linked to Yealland; one in Mount Austin, which contained 17 ecstasy tablets and a loaded pistol, and the other in south-west Sydney, which contained another 227.6 grams of ecstasy.
At a sentencing hearing almost two years after his arrest, Yealland presented a letter of apology to the court.
“The offender says within those notes that being arrested was the best thing could have happened to him,” Wagga District Court Judge Gordon Lerve said.
“He sets out that he has seen in jail the effects of [ice]. He says that he experiences great guilt for the lives he has assisted in destroying by dealing in ice.”
However, while he accepted Yealland showed some promising signs of remorse and rehabilitation, Judge Lerve said his sentence had to reflect the very real need to deter others in the community from drug dealing.
“Clearly, the offender was involved in trafficking prohibited drugs to a substantial degree,” he said.
“Barely a day goes by in this court that the court does not deal with either on appeal from the Local Court or on indictment an offender who has committed serious criminal offending under the influence of methylamphetamine.”
The court heard Yealland joined the Finks in 2014 after he was released from a three-year jail sentence for prior drug supply charges.
After he was assaulted by a member of a rival gang, the Rebels, Yealland left the Finks but soon returned and began doing drug runs to Sydney with the gang.
He moved to Wagga upon being offered the top job, and later told a forensic psychiatrist he committed the offences in question “to survive” and “to use drugs”.
Yealland started by taking one ounce at a time to Sydney, but soon found the travelling “tiring”, so started taking up to four ounces at a time.
When he was stopped by police in December, 2016, he was in the process of transporting half a kilogram of ice to one buyer in Sydney.
After intercepting his phone, police discovered Yealland had sold ice to that particular buyer on 29 separate occasions between July 11 and November 3 that year with a total weight of 510 grams, which legally constitutes a large commercial quantity.
With a non-parole period of eight years and six months, Yealland will not be eligible for release until June 2025.
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