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Family of traffickers in prison

SUPPORTERS of a Sunshine Coast family caught up in a complex drug syndicate watched on as their loved ones were led away one-by-one to prison yesterday.

The syndicate was dismantled in 2009 after a massive police operation busted Sharon Tuddenham, her then boyfriend Adam Christopher Johnson and Tuddenham's 22 year old son, Reece Walker, for drug trafficking.

Tuddenham's other son, Todd Walker, 23, who was also arrested during the sting, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to supplying and possessing drugs.

Tuddenham, 44, was sentenced to nine years in jail, with the possibility of parole after four years.

Johnson, 27, was sentenced to nine years jail, and will be eligible for parole after three years.

Reece Walker will be released after he has served six months of a two-year jail sentence.

Todd Walker escaped with parole on an 18-month sentence.

Tuddenham, a former gymnastics teacher, and Johnson trafficked ecstasy and methamphetamine between September, 2008, and July, 2009.

Justice Roslyn Atkinson said the trafficking crossed state borders to NSW and the Northern Territory.

Their venture came unstuck when police intercepted one of their drug couriers with $16,000 and 2000 ecstasy pills on June 2, 2009.

Tuddenham and Johnson inherited a large drug debt to their Sydney supplier because of the courier's arrest.

The pair told their supplier they could recover the debt in three weeks, Justice Atkinson said.

Their supplier gave drugs to a courier and instructed him to drive to a petrol station at Helensvale with 4911 ecstasy pills to give to Johnson.

Justice Atkinson told the court telephone intercepts detected Johnson organising this and other ecstasy deals of up to $10,000.

Police raided the Beerwah home where Tuddenham and Johnson lived on September 24, 2009, and found $79,700, including $72,000 in a backpack.

Tuddenham's sons came into the equation when police intercepted a telephone call Johnson made to Todd asking him for "whip", otherwise known as methamphetamine, in June, 2009.

A month earlier police raided a home at Bahrs Scrub, near Beenleigh, where the Walkers were living and found Todd with 57 ecstasy pills and eight grams of meth.

Police found Reece with 82.3 grams of cannabis.

The brothers continued their involvement with drugs despite being charged, Justice Atkinson said.

Police raided the brothers again after they relocated to Woombye on September 24, 2009, and found a small amount of cannabis and electronic scales.

Police discovered Reece had an unexplained wealth of $70,000.

Reece drew the dots for the police, but did not admit who the syndicate's most serious traffickers were - his mother and her boyfriend, Justice Atkinson said.

Todd's defence barrister said his client began using drugs after his parents separated.



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