Cash seized at the home of Cairns drug trafficker Jon Robert King who is appealing his jail sentence.
Cash seized at the home of Cairns drug trafficker Jon Robert King who is appealing his jail sentence.

Cairns ice trafficker surprised by ‘severe’ jail sentence

A TRAFFICKER who was part of a major drug ring that co-ordinated shipments of ice on flights across Australia has challenged his nine-year jail term, saying he thought by pleading guilty he would get an earlier parole date.

Jon Robert King, 35, was part of a drug operation that organised suppliers to board flights, carting 1kg packages of ice daily to Cairns, Brisbane and Coolangatta.

King was a mid-level ice dealer who used encrypted messages on a mobile phone app to plan secret drug deals in Cairns pubs as part of the operation.

Methylamphetamines seized from a customer of Cairns drug trafficker Jon Robert King.
Methylamphetamines seized from a customer of Cairns drug trafficker Jon Robert King.

A police investigation revealed that over eight months in 2017, King had at least 77 customers and his estimated turnover was potentially more than $1.2 million.

King pleaded guilty to drug trafficking at Cairns Supreme Court and was sentenced to nine years’ jail in April last year.

After serving more than 18 months in custody awaiting sentence, King was given a parole eligibility date of March 2022.

King challenged the sentence in the Queensland Court of Appeal and argued he was surprised by the “severity” of the sentence.

He said he was under the impression that, because he pleaded guilty, he would only have to serve one third of his sentence behind bars.

Methylamphetamines seized from a customer of Cairns drug trafficker Jon Robert King.
Methylamphetamines seized from a customer of Cairns drug trafficker Jon Robert King.

The father of two argued that his parole eligibility date should have been set earlier.

But the Court of Appeal upheld the sentence, with Justice Philip Morrison remarking that King could have been facing 11 years’ jail if it were not for his plea of guilty.

“The guilty plea not only reduced the head sentence by two years but enabled (King) to avoid an automatic serious violent offence declaration,” Justice Morrison said.

“However, with that benefit, the applicant was not to get an additional benefit by receiving an early parole eligibility date.”

King’s appeal was dismissed and he will be eligible for parole on March 8, 2022. – NewsRegional