Jailed Vic drug kingpin in appeals

Jacqueline Le
Jailed Vic drug kingpin appeals conviction
Jailed Vic drug kingpin appeals conviction

A jailed Melbourne drug trafficker who risks losing more than $10 million worth of "unexplained wealth" is appealing against his convictions.

Rocco Arico, 38, was in March sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for extortion, intentionally causing injury, possessing a firearm, and drug trafficking.

Arico has lodged an appeal against his sentence and conviction in the Victorian Court of Appeal.

A spokeswoman for the court on Monday said a hearing date has not yet been set.

Arico is also subject to a Supreme Court restraining order over five properties suspected of being linked to his criminal activities.

Justice Cameron Macaulay made the order on March 31 following an application by prosecutors and police.

The order states no one can dispose of or deal with a home in Safety Beach, a boatshed in Safety Beach, two properties in Coburg and a home in Moonee Ponds.

The estimated worth of the properties in more than $10 million, according to the Office of Public Prosecutions.

Arico was in February found guilty of firearm and drug possession in the Victorian County Court, several months after he was convicted by a jury of drug trafficking, and extorting his associate Arthur Vouthas over a large drug debt.

On March 3 Judge Geoffrey Chettle sentenced Arico to 14 years behind bars, with a non-parole period of 10 years.

The judge said Arico has a violent track record, having been locked up in the past for kidnapping and attempted murder.

Judge Chettle said Arico treated Brunswick as his "personal fiefdom" and controlled real estate agents, bankers, and building contractors.

Arico is not an Australian citizen and faces deportation to Italy once he is released from prison.

He was born in 1978 in Calabria, an area infamous for mafia violence, and moved to Australia when he was a baby.