Ethan Hill
Ethan Hill

Drug dealer’s brother sentenced for use of ‘safe haven’ house

THE brother of a major Cairns drug dealer who allowed him to use his home as a "drug depot" will spend the next six months behind bars.

Edmonton diesel fitter Ethan Hill, 28, had nine packages filled with drugs sent to his Exploration Way house between 2016 and 2018 during the period his younger brother Ryan spearheaded a huge drug dealing business involving methylamphetamines, cocaine and MDA.

Ethan pleaded guilty in the Cairns Supreme Court yesterday to permitting use of place for drug trafficking.

Ethan Hill
Ethan Hill

The court heard he had originally pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking, but agreed to plead to the lesser charge last month.

Ryan, 26, has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking but is fighting part of the charge alleging he was part of an organised crime syndicate.

The court heard yesterday the drug packages were sent to the house under names of different people who did not live there, but were signed for.

Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane said co-offender Keiren Wilson also admitted dropping off bags of cash to Ethan Hill's house three times while Ryan was overseas.

Ryan had a key to his brother's house and when police raided it after their investigation closed in January 2018 - cash, a money counting machine, quantities of cocaine, MDA and cannabis, a set of knuckle dusters, testosterone and drug utensils were found hidden in the kitchen and office.

They also found a drug "tick sheet" which handwriting analysis confirmed was Ryan's.

Justice Jim Henry said it was clear Ethan would have been aware of the illicit and high level business his brother was involved in.

"I readily accept the main motivation for your offending was the bond of fraternal affection and loyalty," he said.

"(Drug traffickers) need to have safe haven drug depots … which you provided to him in the form of your house repeatedly."

Defence barrister James Sheridan argued Ryan Hill did not pay Ethan for the use of his house which Justice Henry rejected.

The court heard Ethan Hill, a father of two including a newborn, had no prior criminal history prior to this offending.

He was sentenced to two years and nine months jail with parole release in December.

Originally published as Drug dealer's brother sentenced for use of 'safe haven' house