THE former Port Stephens chapter president of the Bandidos bikie gang has been jailed for a maximum of seven-and-a-half years for supplying more than 400 grams of the drug “ice” during a four-month period.
Ronald Leggett, 44, of Bell Road, Belford,
appeared in Newcastle District Court on Monday for sentencing after pleading
guilty to supplying a commercial quantity of methylamphetamine and
possessing three firearms and other weapons that were found at his property
during the subsequent police raid.
Leggett was the president of the Port Stephens chapter of the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang when he was caught up in a sting orchestrated by Strike Force Okanagan, run by the gangs squad and “bikie squad”, in February last year.
But the court heard he had since stepped down as the head of the chapter and had managed to leave the gang.
Facts tendered in court showed Leggett took the drugs from a Newcastle source and onto another Bandido bikie, Manning Valley chapter treasurer and secretary Paul Rowsell, who was selling the drugs onto a dealer who turned out to be an undercover police officer.
It is alleged Leggett supplied the drugs, described as being of “dynamite quality’’, between October 29, 2014 and his arrest on February 11 last year.
When he was arrested driving along the Link Road near University Drive, police seized 142 grams of the drug, or five ounces in the old scale, which he was travelling with to meet up with Rowsell at the car park of Heatherbrae McDonald’s.
It was a trip police had watched Leggett
do six times prior, supplying between one and three ounces at a time, before
the larger quantity was asked for.
The drug was being sold on for up to $3500 an ounce, or about 27 grams.
The pair had attempted to use codes to keep police off the scent.
But things like “tonight and it will be three mates riding with me’’, “my mate wants two and a half for that Falcon ute won’t go any lower” and “any change in the weather, he was keen for a ride” was easily decoded to mean three ounces needed to sell, $2500 an ounce and if there was any more drugs, the buyer would take.
Rowsell was sentenced to a maximum five-and-a-half years jail with a minimum three-and-a-half years for his part in the supply ring.
Judge Roy Ellis sentenced Leggett to seven-and-a-half years jail, with a non-parole period of four-and-a-half years, noting that Leggett was higher up the supply chain than Rowsell and had a “slightly higher level of criminal responsibility”.
He rejected claims from Leggett that the firearms seized had been left at the home by the previous owner.
Leggett, who has been in custody since his arrest, will be eligible for parole in October, 2019.