Man busted importing drugs after post boxes raise alarm
HE was no "Mr Big" but his use of 14 different mailboxes to import cocaine from Thailand was enough to spark police attention.
Steven Peter Verrall used his Bli Bli home to run a business trafficking cocaine and distributing the drug to wholesale dealers on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.
The 41-year-old rented out post boxes across the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, where he would pick up parcels harbouring cocaine inside.
Verrall outlined his business deals, drug qualities and customer satisfaction via emails which police intercepted between November 2007 and February 2008.
He was no Mr Big of the drug underworld but was still trafficking on an ounce or multiple ounce level, the Supreme Court heard on Monday.
Verrall has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, importing and dealing with proceeds of crime and is representing himself in a contested sentence.
Crown prosecutor Glen Rice told the Brisbane court police seized 14 parcels on route to Verrall during his trafficking period between 2007 and 2008.
Twelve of those parcels came from Australia Post and private mail boxes and international courtier DHL delivered the other two packages.
Mr Rice said the courier packages would be sent to an address next door to Verrall's associates, who would pick it up - and apologise for the mix-up - from their confused neighbour once it was dropped off.
While Verrall used false identification to hire the post boxes, he used the same mobile phone contact to register them and police eventually found the sim card at his home.
Mr Rice said Verrall would pay his supplier by using different post offices to wire money to Thailand at a rate of $900 per transfer.
Police traced 171 separate transfers worth $144,475.
Mr Rice said the total weight of cocaine seized in the parcels was 1.01kg.
Police were provided an insight into Verrall's illegal business when they intercepted his email address, which he used to stay in contact with his Thai supplier.
In the emails Verrall showed a desire to sell to two of his "big guys" but expressed annoyance at the quality of a few cocaine shipments.
"At least 10 people now know about this shit and it's not what I wanted," Verrall wrote in one email.
Verrall also bragged about turning over $100,000-$300,000 a week but Mr Rice said that could not be confirmed and were only referred to show an active business operating on a wholesale level.
Police also found photographs of the cocaine packages and powder on Verrall's laptop.
Verrall's contested sentence is scheduled to go for four days.