In the neighbourhood: Some drug dealers blend into our communities better than others.THEY’RE the foot soldiers that blend into a crowd.
Blokes you wouldn’t look twice at if you passed them at the shops.
They’re drug dealers, but a different type of drug dealer.
They’re middle-aged hopeless cases that bounce in and out of jail, but they look different to many of your street-level dealers.
They don’t look like the hopeless junkies you see down the street.
They don’t have that grey skin or lack of teeth that mark the rugged lifestyle of many addicts.
They dress in polo shirts and maybe a pair of jeans or shorts.
Nothing fashionable, but neat and tidy none-the-less.
They’re the sort of blokes you might expect to see with a form guide at your local bowling club with some change jingling in their pocket.
The best example we can give you is an old BHP worker from Barnsley called Warren McLucas.
The 60-something came under the notice of police for the first time in 2010 when they pulled him over in his Ford Falcon station wagon at Hamilton.
Inside the car were a couple of dozen $50 and $100 deals of heroin, while a search of his Codrington Street home uncovered $330,000 cash in his socks ‘n’ jocks drawer.
Barnsley heroin dealer Warren Alexander McLucas had $336,000 cash in his draw.
Warren was pretty matter-of-fact about his enterprise.
He said he initially got into the game to feed his missus, who had battled heroin addiction for years.
He then took on a few regulars.
From there, he took on more and more clients to the point where he had a full-time job driving around the city dropping off deals and picking up $50 to $100 a sale.
He looked harmless sitting in the Newcastle District Court dock.
Grey thinning hair, spectacles and the green prison-issue trackie.
He wasn’t the type to drape himself in gold or ride jet skis on the weekend.
The home in Codrington Street looked like a standard three-bedroom brick job, while no one would have held it against him if he’d upgraded his 10-year-old Falcon.
As well as the $330,000 in the drawer, McLucas had $5500 in his pantry, $3000 in a box, $2000 in coins and $8000 cash in another bedroom.
He got three years’ jail for supply and possessing the proceeds of crime with a minimum of 21 months to serve.
He got parole last year, stayed clean for a matter of minutes then was found at Merewether in July last year with a few grams of heroin.
He spent a bit more time inside before he got bail and a suspended sentence.
John Ward Pearman was of a similar ilk.
He looked harmless enough, but his dedication to the drug trade was as persistent as it was sad.
In 2006 he got caught with some gear at Blacksmiths, got bail, then was caught with some guns, gear and cash a week later.
Two years after that he was done at Lambton with some amphetamines, ecstasy and $14,000 cash.
Two years after that he was found living in a shed at Blacksmiths with cash, drugs and stolen property inside it while he was still on parole.
Once again he got out, and once again the coppers were waiting for him.
One count of supply for eight grams of ice. One count of possessing a weapon – a taser.
This time the judge gave him a chance and granted him a special type of bail where Johnny got to go to rehab before serving a suspended jail sentence.
“At the time I told him that if I was forced to send him to jail he would only have himself to blame,” the judge said. “I now am going to send him to jail and it is entirely true that Mr Pearman only has himself to blame.”
The problem for John, now in his mid 40s, was that the judge made it a condition of his suspended sentence that he had to undergo drug testing.
He lasted 12 days.
“Mr Pearman has thumbed his nose at the law,” the judge said when re-sentencing him to seven years with five to serve. Mr Pearman presents as a man who was somewhat defeated by the circumstances in which he now finds himself. It is a terribly sad thing to see someone of his age going back to jail for what must be a significant period of time.
“He has but one life to live, and it is distressing to see him waste that life in the way he has been.
“But ultimately it remains the case that Mr Pearman’s decision to use drugs, Mr Pearman’s decision to supply drugs and Mr Pearman’s decision to arm himself with a Taser, obviously prepared to use it as part of his drug dealing activities, are matters of personal choice.
“I am not saying the choices are as easy for him as it is for those who are not addicted to drugs. It is a difficult choice. But Mr Pearman was given the opportunity to put his drug dealing days behind him.
“He failed to take it and he must be punished for the personal choice he made to commit these offences.”Continue Reading →