The haul of 650 kilograms of the chemical that is a precursor to the controlled drug, also known as “ice” or “crystal meth” colloquially, is allegedly part of a 2,350-kilogram illegal consignment of the substance, the remains of which are not accounted for.
Detective Roberts, of the Victoria Police, said Mr Zhang, also known as Eric Zhang, sold two consignments of chemicals to Mr Cousens that arrived in July 2012 and January 2013 in Australia. It is claimed that Cousens was taught by Lei Zhang how to produce ice while on trips to China.
Manufacturing drugs of dependence such as methamphetamine in Victoria is a very serious offence and carry stiff penalties as laid out in the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981. Small quantities can attract a five-year term in prison and /or a fine of up to $45,368 while larger quantities, as in the case of Shaun Cousens, of more than 1kg, could attract up to life imprisonment and /or a $567,100 fine.
Drugs like methamphetamines are dangerous as they cause the behaviour of the user to become erratic, sometimes leading to violence. Other effects include their addictiveness. Often a first time user will become addictive, and once this happens then, many addicts have to resort to crime to pay for the habit.
They lose their jobs, and their family associations as the effects can last from 8 to 24 hours disallowing the user to concentrate and be a part of everyday life. Preventing the circulation of drugs such as these is not just a way of protecting society from the potential antisocial behaviour of the addict, but it also aims to prevent individuals from succumbing to the habit.
When an investigation of someone is carried out by the police because suspected drug manufacturing or trafficking is involved, then the incident is taken very seriously. The police and prosecution are after the heaviest penalty they can inflict on the accused.
In Victoria, the action of the police is no different from any other state in Australia. Because of the high value of ice, the manufacturing and trafficking of it are concealed to such an extent that investigations and prosecutions turn into lengthy affairs. This gives Victoria’s law enforcers an even greater reason to push for the highest possible penalties when a person is charged.
If you have been arrested for alleged possession of controlled substances manufacturing materials, then you should never defend yourself in Court. Judges and jurors are never convinced by defences put forward by defendants. You must hire an experienced drug defence solicitor who will fight aggressively on your behalf.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence and need advice or representation, please call our experienced criminal lawyers.