Trio jailed for drug smuggling via yacht

Three men have been jailed for between 18 and seven years for their attempt to import one tonne of drugs to Australia via yacht.

UK citizens Matthew Adam Carter, 40, and Charles James Ewan Glenny, 55, and US national Braeton Hunter Mitchell, 31, faced Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday.

All three had pleaded guilty to one count each of attempting to import a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs.

The trio were arrested in July 2020 at Brisbane International Airport after sailing a vessel loaded with packages of methamphetamine into the waters off Norfolk Island.

The three men helped two other co-ffenders load the drugs into a yacht named the La Fayette, which then sailed toward NSW, where it was intercepted by the water police off Lake Macquarie in April 2020.

Justice Kerri Mellifont said the enterprise to smuggle 1000 packages of drugs from Mexico to Australia involved a high degree of planning.

"It's clear that the circumstances of this case call for a sentence of a very substantial order," Justice Mellifont said.

"It's a very serious offence that involves what can only be described as a huge amount of methamphetamine, a particularly dangerous and insidious drug."

Justice Mellifont said Carter had the highest culpability in the offending as the "captain" of the vessel, while Mitchell became aware of the drugs only after he was at sea.

The trio's voyage started to go wrong soon after leaving Mexico with a power failure spoiling their provisions.

A co-offender aboard the La Fayette described the trio as "skeletal" after going without food for 14 days prior to the Norfolk Island rendezvous.

Carter was a jailed for 18 years with a non parole period of 11 years.

Glenny was jailed for 12 years with minimum of seven years and Mitchell was handed a sentence of seven years and six months with a minimum of four years and six months.

All three were granted 845 days as time served in custody since their arrest.