Two NSW men who smuggled $7 million worth of drugs into WA on a light aircraft have each been sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Joseph Frank Micalizzi, 28, and Jamieson Andrew Santos, 41, were the sole occupants of a plane which flew from Bankstown Airport in Sydney to Jandakot Airport on March 5, 2008 carrying 30,000 ecstasy tablets and 22 vacuum sealed bags of meth amphetamine.
They were each charged with two counts of possessing illicit drugs with intent to sell or supply.
Both men claimed not to know each other or ot have any knowledge of the drugs onboard the plane and each tried to point the finger at the other as the guilty party.
"You both fled to the last refuge of a desperate man in that you were prepared to blame each other," District Court Judge Christopher Stevenson said during sentencing today.
During the trial in December last year, Micalizzi gave an emotional testimony in which he claimed to be acting under duress when he agreed to escort a black bag to Perth for a Sydney drug lord.
Micalizzi told the court he was a cocaine addict and owed a significant debt to a drug dealer known as Bowa.
He said he believed the bag contained cash and claimed Santos was higher up in the drug syndicate than himself.
Santos declined to give evidence.
Judge Steveson rejected Micalizzi’s story.
"I do not accept the evidence that Mr Micalizzi was under duress," he said.
"It (the story) was craftily concocted over time to explain the evidence against him in the prosecution proof."
The judge sentenced each man to 13 years in jail for count one and 15 years jail for count two.
He ordered the terms be served concurrently.
Both men will be eligible for parole after 13 years behind bars.