Man jailed for part in ‘evil trade’


Goya Dmytryshchak

A Maidstone man has been sentenced to five years’ jail for drug trafficking, possessing a precursor chemical and having more than $140,000 cash suspected of being the proceeds of crime.

Rico Bui, 42, pleaded guilty in the County Court to all charges, which followed police intercepting his car and searching his home in January last year.

A search of his SUV had uncovered a number of bags containing substances and $1245 cash.

At his home, police found bags containing substances including heroin, methylamphetamine and cocaine, and $140,000 cash stacked in his bedroom wardrobe.

In a second bedroom, police found a heat-sealed bag containing precursor chemical, iodine.

They also discovered a document with a list of glassware and precursor chemicals related to manufacturing methylamphetamine.

Subsequent analysis of the substances seized from Bui’s car and home confirmed there were 255.6 grams of heroin, 25.9 grams of methamphetamine, 56.5 grams of cocaine and 480.3 grams of iodine.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Frank Gucciardo said Bui’s offences were “serious because of the damage and trauma that those drugs and trafficking inflict on the community and particularly the young”.

“It is a pernicious, insidious trade and those who would engage in it well know and appreciate the risk which they take when they engage in it and factor that risk into their conduct,” he said.

“The primary objects of this sentence must be the deterrence of others, denunciation, punishment and community protection.

“Those who are like-minded to engage in this evil trade must know in no uncertain terms that the court will denounce their conduct as totally unacceptable and that they will receive stern punishment proportionate to their conduct’s criminality.”

The court heard that Bui had a long criminal history, starting from 1997 when he was jailed for 11 years for robbery in company, deprivation of liberty and burglary.

He also spent time in jail for crimes including armed robbery, intentionally causing serious injury, drug trafficking, possessing weapons and dealing with proceeds of crime.

Bui must serve three and a half years before being eligible for parole.