US man jailed over $18 million drug lab

·2-min read

A US citizen involved in a sophisticated drug operation in Adelaide has been jailed over the production of more than $18 million of methamphetamine.

Shahram Kamali will spend at least five years and six months behind bars for his hands-on role in the production of almost 40 kilograms of the drug at a home in the city's south in 2018.

In the District Court on Monday, Judge Jane Schammer said Kamali had come to Sydney from the US at the request of a friend just days before he was arrested.

It wasn't until after he arrived that he found out he was required to travel to Adelaide and it was later still that it was revealed that he was to participate in the drug operation.

He was arrested at the scene after police intercepted a phone call and swooped on the lab.

Judge Schammer said he was wearing just underpants at the time consistent with the belief that he had slept there the previous night.

She said the 43-year-old's role in the operation was towards the lower end and accepted that he was motivated purely by financial gain, having been promised up to $15,000 for his work.

She also accepted that he was remorseful and would have a tougher time in jail with his support network overseas.

But she said the offending was serious and the drugs involved were enough to produce 366,000 street deals.

Kamali had been born in Iran but was smuggled out of the country and arrived in the US in 2009.

He successfully sought asylum and became a US citizen in 2016.

Judge Schammer jailed him for nine years and six months and set a non-parole period of five years and six months after applying a five per cent discount for his guilty plea to one count of manufacturing a large commercial quantity of a controlled drug.

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