A CONVICTED drug-dealing mother busted trafficking ‘ice’ while on bail for the same offence in Warrnambool will spend the next three months in jail.
Chantelle Dart, 33, of Balmoral Road, Warrnambool, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court this week to trafficking and using crystal methamphetamine (ice), possessing cannabis and committing an offence while on bail.
She also breached a 14-day suspended sentence imposed for driving offences.
Dart was jailed for 114 days, of which she has already served 25. After her release she will have to complete a 12-month community corrections order which includes 150 hours’ community work.
Magistrate John Lesser said Dart already had a prior conviction for drug trafficking, and dealing drugs while on bail for the same offence was an aggravating feature of the offending.
He said there was no question ice was a massive problem in the community and police were working hard to curtail its use.
The magistrate said Dart had to serve more time in jail but it was in the community’s best interests she continue along the path of rehabilitation.
Police alleged that during September last year Dart became involved in trafficking cannabis and then soon after ice.
On February 21 police executed a drugs search warrant at Dart’s Balmoral Road home and located 0.7 grams of ice, zip-lock bags, cannabis, gas torches, scalesand two mobile phones which contained evidence of drug dealing.
She admitted to possessing cannabis and using ice and was bailed to appear in court on May 5.
On March 13 police intercepted a blue Ford sedan in Garden Street at 1.30am.
Dart was a passenger in the car and in her handbag police found a deal bag containing ice.
An extensive search uncovered three zip-lock bags containing 0.4 grams of ice in her jeans pockets and a phone with evidence of trafficking.
Defence counsel Matt Senia said his client had spent 25 days in custody away from the four children in her care and now never wanted to touch drugs again.
He said a couple of years ago Dart was just three months away from completing a nursing degree when a series of events led to her rapid downfall.
Mr Senia said Dart’s brother committed suicide and she split up with her partner, who moved back to West Australia with her two step-children.
He said Dart did not cope well and started using cannabis, quickly becoming immersed in the Warrnambool drug scene and started supplying other people with drugs to support her own habit.
In 2012 she received a suspended jail sentence for drug trafficking which she had to serve after buying a stolen lawn mower.
In September last year her former partner was charged in Western Australia with murder and has been remanded in custody. Dart’s two step-children returned to Victoria to be with her.
Mr Senia said Dart was using ice at the time and due to her dire financial situation she sold drugs to make money.
She was a willing participant and became involved in trafficking drugs for monetary gain.
Dart would buy one gram of ice for $400, then break it down to 0.1 gram deal bags which she would sell to customers for between $70 and $100.
She used mobile telephones to organise meetings with the buyers.