News

Jail time for repeat drug trafficker

By Liz Mellino

A Shepparton man will spend the next six months in jail after being charged with trafficking drugs.

Jonathon Kanter faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday for the charges, which happened while on a community corrections order.

Police prosecutor Kevin Taggart told the court on October 8, members of the Criminal Investigation Unit attended Kanter’s address in Shepparton.

The court heard police found a number of items, including multiple zip-lock bags containing methalamphetamine, a metal detector, a home-made taser, CCTV hard drives and a zip-lock bag containing cannabis.

Mr Taggart said Kanter was arrested by police and his mobile phones seized and analysed with numerous messages found discussing the use of drugs.

The court heard when interviewed by police Kanter made full admissions to being the owner of the items and trafficking the drugs.

Mr Taggart expressed concern that at the time of Kanter’s arrest he was on a community corrections order for previous drug trafficking charges.

‘‘This person was given a chance when he’d been charged last time with drug trafficking and he has kept re-offending,’’ Mr Taggart said.

‘‘A message must be sent to the community that it’s not tolerated — it’s not just one drug but multiple drugs he’s selling—amessage must be sent that it’s not acceptable and won’t be tolerated by the courts.’’

Kanter’s lawyer Daniel Posner told Magistrate Stella Stuthridge that his client sold drugs to support his addiction.

The court heard Kanter started using cannabis when he was 11 and had been using methalamphetamine since 2014.

Mr Posner said Kanter, who had his own property maintenance business, but had worked as a drug and alcohol councillor in the past, experienced a breakup with his partner.

‘‘After that he fell into drug abuse . . . lost his business and his house,’’ he said. Mr Posner said Kanter had lived in the United States and wished to return there at the resolution of the matters.

Ms Stuthridge sentenced Kanter to six months prison and said he would have received between eight and 12 months if he had not pleaded guilty.