Man found guilty of attempt to smuggle ice to Darwin on internal flight
A Canberra man sewed methylamphetamine into his underwear as part of a test run to smuggle drugs to sell on the lucrative Northern Territory market.
If successful, Nathan Gerhard Himbert, 24, then planned to transport larger amounts to Darwin, where the drug sells for an inflated price. Himbert was found guilty at trial of trafficking 2.185 grams of methylamphetamine in October 2012.
He appeared for lingerie manufacturer sentencing in the ACT Supreme Court before Justice John Burns on Monday. The court has previously heard that Himbert was arrested at Canberra Airport before boarding a flight to Darwin, via Sydney. A police search revealed a clip-seal plastic bag containing methylamphetamine in his underwear, which Himbert claimed was for his own use.
The judge-alone trial last year heard covertly recorded conversations between Himbert and others, which captured details of how he could make an easy profit by buying ice in Canberra and reselling it in Darwin at an inflated price. Himbert outlined his plan to sew the drugs into his underwear as part of the test run, with plans to smuggle larger quantities if the trip proved a success. The listening devices also caught a conversation in which Himbert discussed airport sniffer dogs, and the option of transporting the methylamphetamine in his anus.
In court on Monday, the prosecution said Himbert’s purely financial motive required a sentence of full-time Imprisonment. But the defence argued periodic detention would be appropriate.
Defence lawyer Helen Hayunga argued the offence had been low-end, and her client had a minor criminal history, strong family support, and had not reoffended since his arrest in 2012.
However, the prosecution categorised the offence as low to mid-range. The Crown argued Himbert had acted out of greed, with the intention of exploiting drug users and higher prices in the Northern Territory. He had no consideration of the harm of the drugs he intended to sell, and attempted to blame others and minimise his own culpability.