Newlyweds jailed for cannabis delivery scheme
A COUPLE that starts a cannabis delivery business together, goes to jail together.
That is the harsh lesson Rikkie Chapman and Joshua Jacob Cutajar learned on Tuesday after owning up to their crimes in the Southport Supreme Court.
To add insult to injury the newlywed couple were owed more than $11,000 by their customers when police shut down their drug operation on July 25 last year.
They were also found with more than 4kg of cannabis in their Coomera home. On the street the drugs were worth an estimated $25,000.
Chapman and Cutajar pleaded guilty to multiple charges including trafficking dangerous drugs, supplying dangerous drugs, possessing dangerous drugs and possessing a weapon.
Justice Ann Lyons sentenced the couple to three years in prison. They will be released on parole after they have served nine months.
Crown prosecutor Jessica Guy took the court through the "sophisticated" drug business the couple started from their Coomera home.
"They advertised to customers and used a delivery driver to make deliveries," she said.
She said the pair also referred to the people they supplied to as "customers".
In 10 months, the couple supplied the drug to 19 people on 104 occasions - at times with $50 bags and other times one pound bags worth $3500.
The court was told "tick sheets" found in the home showed their "customers" owed them more than $11,000 for drugs already supplied.
Ms Guy said it was unable to be determined how much the pair made selling the drugs.
"There was some level of sophistication including the use of the delivery driver and buyers as customers," she said.
Chapman and Cutajar were married in August.
Chapman's barrister Sarah Thompson, instructed by Gatenby Criminal Lawyers, said Chapman grew up in a domestically violent home.
She said in 2011 she moved to the Gold Coast and suffered a back injury while working at Masters Hardware store.
"Cannabis has played a large part in self-medicating the pain that she suffers from," Ms Thompson said.
"A device was located that allowed the cannabis to be transformed into cannabis oil."
Chapman is on the disability support pension.
Defence barrister Nick McGhee, instructed by Gatenby Criminal Lawyers, said Cutajar also had a prejudicial upbringing and left school in Year 9.
"He was a long-term cannabis user," he said.
"He had now turned to lawfully obtaining cannabis to treat insomnia."
Cutajar, who now has a cleaning business, had worked a number of jobs including fruit picking and labouring.
Originally published as Newlyweds jailed for cannabis delivery scheme