Violent bodybuilder's meth business dismantled by cops
A MACKAY bodybuilder and aspiring fitness guru offloaded ounces of ice trafficked from the Gold Coast before police phone taps brought his enterprise undone.
Christos Panagakos, who has a history of violence and drug crimes, pleaded guilty to three charges of trafficking dangerous drugs (methamphetamines and ecstasy) between March and April, 2015.
The drug dealer's guilty pleas before the Supreme Court in Mackay came just before the matter was due to go to trial on Monday.
Justice James Henry asked for a moment to "absorb" the 25-year-old's eight-page criminal history before Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane provided the agreed facts in the sentencing.
Mr Crane said Panagakos was caught up in a "web of activity" with other drug dealers and buyers and inadvertently came to the attention of police.
One of the trafficking charges related to a phone tap, which showed Panagakos had been looking to buy between four and eight ounces of ice from Beenleigh, on the Gold Coast.
Another was linked to an ice deal for a buyer who was prepared to pay up to $6700 for an unknown amount, Mr Crane said.
Panagakos had described the product he was selling, which he obtained as a middleman, as "f***ing primo", according to Justice Henry.
Discovered by police text intercepts, the last charge involved the sale of 500 MDMA (ecstasy) pills.
Mr Crane described Panagakos' wholesale dealing as sophisticated and a considerable logistical exercise.
Meanwhile, defence barrister Ron Frigo noted there had been significant delays in the court process and wanted that taken into account.
It took more than two years for Panagakos' case to come to a head.
The lawyer said Panagakos missed out on the opportunity for his prior and current charges to be heard at once and finalised.
Justice Henry responded that "delays like this are normal"; however, he conceded an "outsider would think it's horrendous".
He said the delay could be down to police needing to finish ongoing operations, which Mr Crane agreed with.
Mr Crane also told the court it "wasn't a remarkable delay" in the scheme of things and waiting on particular reports had taken considerable time.
Panagakos' defence said the young body builder had moved from Mackay to the Gold Coast to live with his mum and had been studying a fitness certificate.
He had also launched a food delivery and meal prep business, which had been "gaining traction".
Mr Frigo added Panagakos had been "in the grips of drug addiction" since he was 17 or 18, but had been clean for a year.
At one point Panagakos attempted to enter a private rehabilitation clinic at Currumbin, on the Gold Coast, but that would have cost $35,000, the lawyer added.
It was also indicated Panagakos may have been living with a mental illness at the time of the drug dealing.
Mr Frigo said a psychologist linked that with drug induced psychosis, possibly from using methamphetamines.
But Justice Henry questioned whether the illness played any real part in Panagakos' drug dealing and said it seemed transient.
After some discussion, Justice Henry adjourned until Thursday for the defence to obtain more information from a psychologist.
Panagakos' bail was continued.