A Maylands man who tried to smuggle almost 800g of methylamphetamine hidden in shampoo and expensive skincare bottles through Perth Airport was yesterday jailed for at least 10 years.
Richard Gerald Nell, 36, was sentenced in the Perth District Court after pleading guilty to possessing methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, importing methylamphetamine in a marketable quantity and trafficking a border controlled drug.
Judge Richard Keen said drugs were a "scourge on society" and it was necessary to send the message that Australia needed to be protected from the importation of drugs.
Nell was caught with methylamphetamine inside a Rainforest Shampoo bottle and two bottles labelled Dior Hydra Life - a high-end anti-ageing serum - after arriving at Perth International Airport on June 13, 2012 from Singapore. A swab of his baggage tested positive after arriving in Perth.
When challenged at the airport, Nell denied carrying any drugs and said he had obtained the bottles at a Bangkok shopping centre.
A total of 794.6g of methylamphetamine was in the bottles, the court was told.
Police searched Nell's home four days later and found items including funnels, scales, a sketch of a chemical laboratory set-up and "crystalline material".
Officers found 283g of methylamphetamine in a skincare bottle as well as 27.5g of methylamphetamine on a plate. Traces of the drug were also found elsewhere in the house and Judge Keen said chemicals in the house were consistent with being used to extract methylamphetamine from a solution or as cutting agents.
Police also searched Nell's unit in Maylands in May 2012 and found about 243g of methamphetamine.
Judge Keen said Nell was a mid-level drug dealer and had been in the drug dealing business to support an expensive drug habit.
He will have to serve at least 10 years of his sentence, which was backdated to June 2012, before he is eligible for release on parole.