A FORMER Warrnambool law student was one of two young drug dealers caught by police in an unroadworthy car containing digital scales, a cashbox and more than $3000 cash in the glovebox.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Paul Harris said Jordan Hooper, 22, formerly of Warrnambool, and presently of Jan Juc near Torquay, and Kane Egan, 20, of Cramer Street, Warrnambool, were stopped by police about 3am on February 5 on Banyan Street. Hooper has pleaded guilty to trafficking in methamphetamine, or ‘ice’, and possessing the proceeds of crime. Egan has pleaded guilty to trafficking cannabis, two charges of driving while unlicensed and driving an unroadworthy car.
Senior Constable Harris said Hooper was able to open a cashbox found on the vehicle’s back seat. Digital scales and a number of deal bags were found inside.
An examination of Hooper’s mobile phone revealed text messages that referred to drugs, he said.
Senior Constable Harris said a deal bag containing white powder was found on the ground near where the two men were sitting when they were arrested but Egan said he did not know what it was.
Egan said he was getting marijuana for friends and making money for doing so, Senior Constable Harris said.
Egan was again stopped by police for driving while unlicensed the day after he was apprehended for drug trafficking, the court heard.
Matthew Senia, for Hooper, said his client had been a high achiever as a youth and had been studying at Warrnambool for a law degree. However, he had deferred in his second year and was earning a modest income playing online poker.
Hooper had used ice to keep him awake for his studies and gambling but it had become a daily habit and he had become immersed in the drug scene, selling it to support his habit, Mr Senia said.
Hooper’s trafficking had not been high-volume, he said.
Amanda Chambers, for Egan, said Egan was a young father with depression and anxiety issues who was “self-medicating” by using cannabis and occasionally ice. Magistrate Ann McGarvie told Hooper his legal career might not be over if he changed his life around.
Ms McGarvie said she took into account that Hooper was “young and stupid” and had no prior convictions.
She placed both Hooper and Egan on 18-month corrections orders to do 200 hours of community work and ordered they be assessed and treated for drug abuse.
For the driving offences, Ms McGarvie disqualified Egan from driving for six months and fined him $200.