Gregory Terrence Snell helped deliver presents last Christmas. But drug trafficking has delivered him to jail.
Gregory Terrence Snell helped deliver presents last Christmas. But drug trafficking has delivered him to jail. Sarah Dionysius

Army veteran's fall from charity work to drug trafficking

IT IS infiltrating society to a degree we haven't seen before.

That grim description of methylamphetamine, known as ice, is something all sides agreed on at a father's court hearing on Tuesday.

Gregory Terrence Snell, 50, went from toy-delivering charity hero to prison inmate because of his involvement in the Sunshine Coast drug trade.

It was a "curious" case because Snell had never been in legal trouble until recently, Justice James Douglas told Brisbane Supreme Court.

But the married army veteran typified what Justice Douglas called a concerning new trend.

The judge said it was increasingly common to see "mature people getting on methylamphetamine and starting to offend where they've had no previous record."

Police using wiretaps caught Snell after targeting Coast ice dealers from June 2014 to July 2015.

A Crown prosecutor said Snell's case embodied the "wider availability" of ice in the community.

The court heard Snell supplied two other men and also worked with drug trafficker Dean Kingston Lacey, who was jailed in July for 11 years.

Defence counsel Damian Walsh said Snell had been an ice user, but not an addict.

He said Snell was married with children, and had worked as a bricklayer, concreter, landscape designer and removalist.

In his role with a removals company, Snell performed charity work, donating his time and resources to help deliver Christmas gifts to children.

Mr Walsh noted Justice Douglas's remarks about how the judge was seeing "more and more" previously law-abiding adults getting involved in serious ice-related crime.

Mr Walsh said his client's family now faced an uncertain future because of Mr Snell's involvement with drug trafficking.

Justice James Douglas said Snell should have left the ice trade, "either by stopping working for [Lacey] or just refusing to get involved".

Justice Douglas said ice caused some users to commit devastating crimes and caused "enormous harm within the community".

Snell nodded.

He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and supply.

He was sentenced to five years' jail, and is eligible for parole on March 11, 2020. -NewsRegional