Party comes to an end for ecstasy syndicate
A FRENCHMAN, an Englishman, and Irishman, and Aussie who walked into a drug sting last year have been all handed hefty jail sentences in the Supreme Court.
Drug syndicate bosses Tommy Ransley, a 32-year-old UK national, and Stephen Donnelly, a 37-year-old Irish DJ, appeared in the NT Supreme Court on Wednesday alongside the two couriers they had recruited to collect a mail order delivery of drugs from Mt Isa post office.
The couriers, French glamour model Sebastian Ducros, 24, and Australian drug addict Marcus Hansh, 42, were tailed by members of a joint NT Police, Border Force and AFP taskforce, picking up more than 5000 ecstasy pills and 127 grams of cocaine last year.
Justice Stephen Southwood said the two principal syndicate members were more to blame for the "serious offending" than the couriers, both of whom were drawn into the syndicate to pay off drug debt.
Justice Southwood handed Ransley a bigger than usual discount for detailing to police he and Donnelly's previous drug crimes, but rejected his claim he was only dealing drugs to fund his own habit.
"It beggars belief that the principal reason was for supporting his own habit," he said.
The drugs had a street value of almost $1 million.
He said Ransley, whose birthday was on Wednesday, would not be given any more leniency despite allegedly being bashed in prison for being a "dog".
Ransley was sentenced to six years jail with a four-year-and-three-month non-parole period.
Donnelly was only handed the "usual" discount for his guilty plea, and was sentenced to six years and nine months jail, with a non-parole period of four years and nine months.
Ducros, 24, who fell into a circle of partying and cocaine use after being dumped by his girlfriend in Bali, will be released and deported in October.
He was sentenced to three years and nine months, to be suspended after a year served.
Hansh will be released on a strict suspended sentence designed to help him kick his drug habit after serving two years of his four-year-and-six-month sentence.