Grant Anthony Eaton was charged after using Craiglist and Wickr to sell drugs including ice.
Grant Anthony Eaton was charged after using Craiglist and Wickr to sell drugs including ice. Whitsunday Times

Brazen Craigslist drug dealer jailed

TAKE one part brazenness but add a pinch of stealth.

Throw in some sidekicks, payable in drugs for doing your bidding, and you'll have the recipe drug trafficker Grant Anthony Eaton cooked up for months.

The former Airlie Beach man brazenly advertised drugs on the Craigslist classified ad website, communicating with customers on encrypted messaging app Wickr.

The tools the 38-year-old used were not disputed at Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday.

But whether Eaton was idiotic or cunning was a matter of contention.

"It was brazen and stupid,” defence counsel Andrew Christie said, referring to the Craigslist ads.

Mr Christie said Eaton was not a "relentless or gangster-style offender” but was mentally disturbed at the time of his arrest.

The court heard Eaton was the victim of a Brisbane home invasion in which he jumped from a balcony and received serious injuries, spending three months in hospital.

Mr Christie said Eaton had a difficult upbringing and had conditions consistent with PTSD and a "mixed personality disorder”.

Prosecutor Russell Hood said QPS investigators targeted Eaton and other dealers using phone intercepts.

The Crown said Eaton was frequently supplying ice, sometimes as much as 28g a day.

Mr Hood said this was "high-end street level” dealing and Eaton engaged two associates, paying them in drugs.

Prosecutors were not persuaded Eaton was an addict and neither was Justice David Boddice.

"He was also operating at a high end which is not consistent with someone addled,” the judge said.

Justice Boddice said the Wickr use indicated "sophistication” and showed Eaton was not stupid after all.

Eaton pleaded guilty to multiple drug possession, supply and trafficking charges.

He was given some credit for guilty pleas, and for what the judge called "extreme steps towards rehabilitation”.

Those steps included stints in residential rehab on the Gold Coast and Ipswich but the judge said those stints were "nothing like custody”.

Eaton was jailed for nine years and is eligible for parole on March 30, 2022. -NewsRegional