Camperdown "hillbilly heroin" dealer avoids jail

A REBELS bikie gang member who ran a “hillbilly heroin” prescription medication ring in Camperdown must complete 150 hours of community work as part of a court order.

Andrew Douglas Pullen, 29, of Gnotuk Road, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week to trafficking Oxycontin and cannabis, assault, theft and attempted theft. 

He was placed on a 12-month community corrections order with conditions he complete 150 hours’ community work, undertake assessment and treatment for drug dependency and programs to reduce reoffending.

Magistrate Peter Mellas said the assault, theft and attempted theft were relatively minor offences and the trafficking cannabis charge related to one incident.

But Pullen was involved in the on sale of Oxycontin tablets — a prescription opiate-based pain medication — to a group of users in the Camperdown area, he said.

He described the level of trafficking as “occasional and opportunistic” rather than organised, although there was some planning and effort involved.

Mr Mellas said he was satisfied the trafficking did not reach a level that required an immediate jail term be served.

Mid-last year Warrnambool police began Operation Underfeed to focus on the trafficking of Oxycontin by Pullen in the Camperdown area.

The Victoria Supreme Court issued a telephone intercept order and between July and August Pullen was involved in 142 text messages and conversations relating to trafficking drugs, particularly Oxycontin.

Police detailed almost daily conversations and text messages between Pullen and a number of Camperdown people, many of whom legally obtained Oxycontin through prescriptions.

Pullen was claimed to be an opiate addict who was desperate for Oxycontin, otherwise known as hillbilly heroin. 

He was arrested after police executed a number of search warrants on August 31 last year in Camperdown and Terang.

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