Melbourne trafficker jailed for six years

Melissa Iaria

A Melbourne drug dealer found with more than $105,000 in cash hidden behind a hotel room curtain has been jailed for more than six years.

Jackie Chan, 28, had a rude morning wake-up call when he was roused by police raiding his Box Hill hotel room in April last year.

The search uncovered a bag behind a curtain, containing $105,000, another $8000 in cash in a Louis Vuitton satchel, bags containing white powder and green vegetable matter and multiple phones.

His car also contained a hidden stash of $45,000 in cash, a large set of kitchen scales and drugs.

Chan pleaded guilty to trafficking commercial quantities of cocaine and methylamphetamine and possessing drugs of dependence.

He also pleaded guilty to dealing with more than $158,000 in cash, suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Chan began using drugs as a teenager after he fell in with the wrong crowd, the County Court heard on Thursday.

His parents, who settled in Australia as Vietnamese refugees, were often absent and his deviant peers became like surrogate family.

By age 20, he quickly became addicted to cocaine and quit his full-time job to start dealing and fund his drug debts.

Judge George Georgiou accepted Chan was motivated to fund his own habit and abused drugs to cope with underlying mental health issues.

"Whilst drug addiction is no excuse for your behaviour, in your case, I'm prepared to accept your addiction has some mitigatory effect on your moral culpability," he said.

He accepted Chan's remorse, youth and that it was his first time in jail.

His rehabilitation prospects were reasonable, with the right treatment, the judge found.

"You should know, Mr Chan, from your own addiction to illicit drugs, the devastation and misery drug traffickers cause to the lives to those who use and become addicted to drugs," Judge Georgiou said.

Chan was jailed for six years and two months, with a minimum three years and eight months. The sentence includes almost a year already served in pre-sentence custody.