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Ex-bikie gang boss jailed


A FORMER state president of the Rebels motorcycle gang was sentenced to three years' jail for trafficking in $504,000 worth of methylamphetamine.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Estcourt said it was a large-scale drug trafficking operation not often seen in Tasmania.

But Colin David Picard, 67, avoided a $117,000 pecuniary penalty after declaring himself bankrupt last month.

Picard, of Ravenswood, pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking 36 ounces of methylamphetamine between November 1, 2010 and July 5, 2011.

His arrest came after a police operation -- Operation Dorothy -- in which police used telephone intercept powers and twice intercepted Picard delivering drugs near Perth on the Midland Highway.

In one raid police found $10,200 in cash in a Mr Picard's gold Falcon sedan.

Crown prosecutor John Ransom told the court that the organised crime operation operated in the South, North and North-West of Tasmania.

He said a Launceston man Barry William Gleeson brought in large supplies of the drug from Melbourne.

Gleeson, who was jailed last year, sold the methylamphetamine to Picard.

"Picard was president of the Launceston chapter of the Rebels and he onsold to Rebels around the state and to members of the Outlaws motorcycle club," Mr Ransom said.

He said Picard had bought the methylamphetamine and it was delivered to his Ravenswood home.

Some of the drug was sold from the Rebels clubhouse in Merino St, Launceston.

The court heard that Rebels members spoke in code on the telephone with one message saying: "painting inside today, please send down help".

Defence counsel Adrian Hall told Justice Estcourt that Picard had declared himself bankrupt in June and received the aged pension.

He said Picard had never served time in jail and had formerly operated a cartage business.

He said Picard bought the drug for $4000 an ounce and sold it for $5000 an ounce.

Gleeson gave Picard one ounce free for every eight ounces Picard bought, meaning Picard made $13,000 for every nine ounces he sold.

Justice Estcourt set a non-parole period of 18 months.

He said Picard's bankruptcy meant there was little point in making the penalty order.

The seized $10,200 was forfeited by Picard.


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