Dealer with $2.76m of drugs and guns jailed for 10 years
A DRUG dealer who was "living amongst" piles of cash and millions of dollars of cocaine, MDMA and 'ice' in his Rozelle apartment has been sentenced to 10 and a half years jail.
Paul Makdissi will not be eligible for parole until December 2024, after Judge Nicole Noman rejected an argument that the 33-year-old was merely used as a "warehouse" in a drug syndicate.
Makdissi smiled at his mother and said softly, "It's OK" as he was led from the dock on Monday, convicted of charges including possessing more than three firearms and supply a commercial quantity of drugs.
Judge Noman said evidence heard on October 4 that Makdissi's mother needed to pay the rent for his one-bedroom Pine St apartment laid bare his money problems and provided "a motive for his engagement in drug supply" for financial gain.
She said on February 2017 police found three piles of cash totalling $55,000 on his dining room table, scales and several kilograms of drugs in shopping bags and even in a kitchen draw.
"He was living amongst it all," she told Downing Centre District Court.
"I do not accept the hearsay evidence that he was merely a warehouse. It is not consistent with the large amount of drugs found in his home."
Makdissi was arrested on February 9, 2017 when he returned to a Mullens St storage unit police had covertly raided the day before finding packages of cocaine, 15 bags of MDMA and one containing 'ice'.
According to police facts, four guns including two self-loading pistols were also found in a Dewalt tool bag and within a sock, in which traces of Makdissi's DNA was discovered by police.
Officers found another two firearms at his nearby home, about $291,000 in cash stashed in a Gucci bag, a money counter, scales and bags full of drugs.
In total officers seized 17kg of ice, 1.5kg of cocaine, 4.5kg of MDMA and six firearms including two Magnum revolvers, a Smith and Wesson a Glock and Beretta pistol across the two sites.
Police estimated the cost of the drugs to be worth up to $2.76 million.
Police conducted the raids as part of an investigation into the supply of drugs and firearms by Assyrian organised crime groups.
At the time of his activity, the former construction worker was serving a bond over drug charges in 2014 when he was found in possession of 32 MDMA tablets.
Makdissi pleaded guilty to charges of supply prohibited drug, deal with proceeds of crime, drug possession, not keeping firearm safely and possession of ammunition.
He will serve a non-parole period of seven years and nine months.