Jamie Payet is a bodybuilder who works out at Sportworld 6 days a week and loves the Marvel Hulk. Picture: Marc McCormack
Jamie Payet is a bodybuilder who works out at Sportworld 6 days a week and loves the Marvel Hulk. Picture: Marc McCormack

Trafficker’s pasta shop meth deal

JAMIE Payet was lured into the ice trafficking world by the promise of easy money, but has now left a sick wife and child at home, while he wallows in a cell for two years.

The Iraq veteran and Cairns Toll operations manager sold his services to a meth trafficker

in a shady deal struck in a Sheridan Street restaurant.

"He was identified by a member of the organisation at Fasta Pasta while wearing his uniform and offered the opportunity to make some money on the side," Crown prosecutor Noel Needham told Cairns Supreme Court.

Body builder and accused Cairns drug trafficker Jamie Payet.
Body builder and accused Cairns drug trafficker Jamie Payet.

"It is not clear how the bargain was struck, the deal was that per consignment guaranteed he would be paid $1100."

Payet, 31, made about $70,000 between May 2017 and January 2018.

The court heard Payet acted as the Cairns "pivot point" for an operation that stretched from Sydney to the Far North, helping supply wholesale amounts of schedule 1 drugs into the community.

Payet was a valuable asset to the traffickers after their shipments through Australia Post were increasingly intercepted and confiscated.

"He would receive orders ... and generate a consignment note and forward it to NSW" Mr Needham said.

Armed with Payet's notes, another courier could send packages of meth, cocaine and MDMA north from a predetermined Toll depot in Sydney.

"He (Payet) knew when they would arrive and from time to time they would be directed or delivered to people under assumed names," Mr Needham said.

"Though he did not inquire about the nature of the package or what was being packaged, he new what he was doing was illegal."

Payet facilitated 66 shipments through Toll, unaware that police were tracking him.

He was arrested after returning from Thailand in January last year.

Police were aware of Payet’s role and arrested him at Cairns Airport after Payet returned from Thailand in January 2018. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Police were aware of Payet’s role and arrested him at Cairns Airport after Payet returned from Thailand in January 2018. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

Josh Trevino, defending, told the court the father of two would be leaving a wife and child beset by health issues.

"He was under financial strain; he had two children to support, he gave into temptation," he said.

Mr Trevino argued that Payet's service in Iraq could be considered "a significant demonstration of good character."

Payet pleaded guilty to aggravated drug trafficking.

Kalid Kange, the operation's alleged Sydney mastermind, remains a fugitive and is thought to have fled to Lebanon.

"The community hopes he will return and face justice - much depends on extradition from the county to which he has fled," Justice Henry said.

He said Payet "failed the integrity test by a long way".

"If people can afford to pay $1100 per package there's some pretty valuable, illegal stuff inside... you had to have know that you were profiting by breaking the law," Justice Henry said.

"The temptation of free money was too much to resist."

Justice Henry said Payet's military service and the impact on his family would allow a more merciful approach.

He sentenced Payet to six years in prison, to be paroled after serving two years.

Payet served as a driver in Iraq.
Payet served as a driver in Iraq.


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