Man's desperate attempt to help brother lands him in jail
A MAN who helped to orchestrate a large cocaine deal to get his brother out of a bind will spend years behind bars.
Corey David Edward Magee, 27, has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years' prison after he undertook the drug deal to make good on a debt his brother, Ricky, owed to "bad people".
It wasn't until his arrest he realised the "buyer" was an undercover police operative.
Magee was sentenced for knowingly taking part in the supply of a large commercial quantity of cocaine, alongside Lismore Heights man Jesse Marijonas Vilkelis-Curas, 24 before Lismore District Court on Wednesday.
Along with this charge Magee pleaded guilty to a further supply offence over the offer an supply 1kg of MDMA at Kingscliff and several counts of knowingly taking part in the supply of the drug buprenorphine, which he helped take into the prison where Ricky was an inmate.
As part of the cocaine deal, Magee spoke with the buyer on numerous occasions, including in Byron Bay on February 7 last year and later in Chinderah on the Tweed Coast.
Initial plans were foiled when his driver, 27-year-old Matthew James Ivan, was arrested en route to Sydney with a large sum of cash.
Senior Finks bikie Martin Francis Klein, 37, from Beaumont Hills, was meanwhile named in court documents as a planned supplier for an early failed cocaine deal.
Klein was arrested as part of another investigation on March 14 last year and is due to be sentenced next year for 11 offences, including supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, drug manufacturing and firearm matters.
Magee and the buyer ultimately agreed 1kg of cocaine could be secured and Vikelis-Curas was tasked with introducing the buyer to Abdul Raouf Derbas, who supplied the drugs in Sydney on April 13.
In her sentencing remarks, Judge Dina Yehia acknowledged the offender's different roles and place in the group's hierarchy.
For Vilkelis-Curas, she said this was limited; he was drip-fed information on a "need-to-know" basis while Magee was more heavily involved.
Judge Yehia said there was "no evidence that (Magee) enriched himself as a result of this criminal activity", having put his $15,000 share toward his brother's debt.
"However, the fact he engaged in this conduct for financial gain remains an aggravating factor," she said.
The court heard Vilkelis-Curas' cut went toward drugs and gambling.
Judge Yehia found the fact the cocaine was only supplied to police was of limited relevance.
"The prevailing concern... is that the offenders fully intended that the drugs would be disseminated and it was not an act of the offenders that prevented (this)," she said.
The court heard Vilkelis-Curas had made great progress in rehabilitation since being release on bail last year while Magee had completed courses and gained employment while being held on remand.
The court heard both men had experienced adverse conditions in their upbringing, including Vilkelis-Curas' extensive exposure to drug deals as a child.
"Their most formative years were marred by family violence and drug use," Judge Yehia said.
She found Vilkelis-Curas' offending warranted a prison term, but ordered gave him a sentence to be served in the community by way of a two-and-a-half year intensive corrections order.
He will also have to complete 150 hours of community service.
Magee will not be eligible for parole until November, 2021
Matthew Ivan was sentenced in June to a 12 month ICO for drug possession, participating in a criminal group and other related offences.
Derbas, 26, from Tempe, will be sentenced for drug supply and other offences in Sydney on December 12.
For their involvement in the buprenorphine supply, Ballina man Sean Blazley and Mark Stanley Magee received 12 and 18 month ICOs respectively.