A WEALTHY Whitsundays drug baron peddled almost $2 million worth of meth and marijuana between Airlie Beach and Mackay, a court has heard.
Until his 2015 arrest, Leon Gary Cremor was living in an exclusive waterfront apartment, driving luxury cars and jet skis, and taking regular holidays to extravagant locations including Hamilton Island and Bora Bora.
Brisbane Supreme Court heard he used the services of a major Gold Coast drug ring, regularly paying couriers to deliver packages from the south, to cement his position at the top of the region's drug trade.
It was his dealings with one of those couriers, New Zealand national Kevin Richard Bailey, which ultimately proved his downfall.
Police were tracking Bailey as he moved drugs up and down the Bruce Hwy from a Gold Coast supplier who was arrested as part of a wider Queensland police sting.
In March 2015, Cremor and Bailey were seen meeting at Cannonvale car park where a suitcase was exchanged.
The court heard police later stopped Bailey and uncovered four pounds of marijuana, 850 green and gold coloured "bricks" believed to be ecstasy, and more than $60,000 in cash.
Cremor told police Bailey had dropped off meth and in exchange, he had sent some of his own cargo back to the supplier because he "couldn't get rid of it" locally.
He said the cash was to pay for a previous drug run.
Cremor has pleaded guilty to trafficking in and supplying dangerous drugs. Bailey was previously sentenced to four years in jail for his role supplying the drugs.
Documents before the court in a separate confiscation proceeding state Cremor also supplied more than $53,600 worth of drugs to an undercover police officer.
Crown Prosecutor Dejana Kovac said while Cremor claimed to have made about $60,000 profit in total from his drug trade, the "modest" homewares business he ran with his former partner could not have funded their lavish lifestyle.
Ms Kovac said it was estimated Cremor's "significant" drug operation, which supplied drugs to at least 36 customers, had a turnover of up to $1,826,000.
She also said Cremor had previously been convicted of trafficking marijuana in 2005 and rather than learning his lesson, had only "added to his repertoire".
Defence barrister Ben Power said his client had shown "very strong evidence of rehabilitation" since being released on bail to his parents' cattle farm near Rockhampton where he "worked hard" and made an hour and a half drive each way to the nearest police station four times a week.
Mr Power also argued the large amount of drugs his client had agreed to sell to an undercover police officer was on "a scale massively above anything he had previously dealt in".
But Justice Glenn Martin said Cremor "saw the opportunity to make a killing" and took it.
Cremor will be sentenced at a later date.
- ARM NEWSDESK
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