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Wanna-be meth kingpin will spend years behind bars

CRAIG Cant had big plans to be a meth kingpin.

Instead, after setting up an interstate operation he ran from a farm outside Gympie, he received frequent complaints about the quality of his drugs, used clumsy codes in text messages and ended up in debt to criminals across Australia.

Cant, 55, was serving a 17-year jail sentence for importing ecstasy and marijuana resin in the Northern Territory before he was paroled to the Sunshine Coast in 2011.

He met former millionaire lawyer Nigel Munt, now the partner of his son's mother.

They became friends and Cant revealed to Munt a plan to start an interstate drug operation.

He wanted to import $50,000 of pseudoephedrine from Indonesia to begin making methylamphetamine - and to fund it he planned to buy and sell other people's drugs.

He moved on to Munt's farm and started an operation that spanned Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory and had Munt and nine other people operating under him.

Police began surveillance on him - tapping his mobile and landline phones, physically watching him and placing listening devices in his house and car.

But the Brisbane Supreme Court, where Cant pleaded guilty to trafficking meth, supplying meth and growing marijuana, heard many of the text messages Cant received were complaining about the quality of the drugs he was supplying to street level dealers.

Crown prosecutor Glen Cash said Cant used codes to try to fool police - but they were "ham fisted" and easily understood.

At one stage Cant received drugs from South Australia that were "unmerchantable" because of their low quality.

Much of Munt's operation was based on credit he supplied to the dealers below him and from suppliers.

The court heard that when he bought more than $80,000 of meth he likely was in debt to other dealers before his arrest in 2012.

Cant was sentenced to eight years in jail on Wednesday.

He will serve 50% of the sentence before being eligible for parole.

Topics:  drug dealers drugs meth

Gympie Times