‘Vulnerable’ festival drug mule jailed for two years

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“The offence was committed out of need, on balance, more than greed.”

Poo did not react as she was jailed alongside former bank manager and drug dealer Julian Martusciello, who cried and said, “Sorry mum, sorry dad” as he was jailed for up to 18 months, with a non-parole period of nine months, for offences that included supplying Poo with 213 of the 1597 capsules she had on her that day.

Martusciello, 27, pleaded guilty in January to supplying Poo with the capsules, as well as knowingly taking part in the supply of an additional 230 capsules at the festival. Poo also pleaded guilty earlier this year to supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and supplying an indictable quantity of a prohibited plant.

In the days before the festival the pair exchanged several text messages arranging for Poo to carry the capsules inside the event, with Martusciello telling her she would need a “big bra…for sure”, and initially suggesting she take “2 [packages] left boob, 2 right boob and a small one downstairs [sic].”

After being stopped by police Poo told an officer she had “a lot” of drugs on her, prompting the officer to ask, “How much is a lot?”

She replied, “Like, a lot. A lot of MDMA.”

The court heard it wasn’t Poo’s first time as a mule, with her agreeing to carry 300 MDMA capsules into the Knockout Circuz festival at Olympic Park in return for $1000 “and some drugs” in December 2017.

She had also told that supplier she had previously smuggled 1000 capsules into controversial dance music festival Defqon.1, where two revellers fatally overdosed on MDMA in September 2018.

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Poo, whose payment for carrying the drugs into Midnight Mafia was “$200 … 40 freebies and a ticket” told arresting police her plan was to go to the bathrooms and unpack the condoms before distributing the haul to the people for whom she had carried it in.

Judge Turnbull said Poo was grateful for any financial relief to alleviate her poverty and was “clearly prone to importuning”.

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Judge Turnbull said that despite there being mitigating factors for both offenders, the only appropriate punishment was imprisonment.

“There have been terrible consequences for young people who consume illicit drugs brought into festivals,” he said.

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