Drug dealer busted after lost phone handed into police

A TOOWOOMBA man's drug dealing enterprise was busted after a well-wishing resident handed in the phone he used to conduct his transactions.

Matthew Steven Flint McRoberts, 37, pleaded guilty in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court to one count each of supplying dangerous drugs and possessing anything used in the commission of a crime, namely a mobile phone, between July 10-29 July last year.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Mike Robinson told the court the phone was handed in to Toowoomba police in December last year after it was found in Newtown.

Despite the phone being locked with a pin code, incoming text messages could still be read on the screen, one of which identified McRoberts as the phone's owner.

Sgt Robinson said the "large number" of text messages related to a drug deal when McRoberts was asked the price for an "ounce of cannabis" to which he sent back the price and the need to place the order quickly as the drug was in short supply.

Police took photos of the messages and on January 6 this year interviewed McRoberts about the phone and the messages.

Sgt Robinson said McRoberts told police he lacked the ability to stand up for himself to others when intoxicated.

McRoberts' solicitor told the court her client was on probation for previous drug offences and admitted to being susceptible to the influence of others.

She said McRoberts was currently engaging with Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATODS).

Magistrate Damian Carroll said he had considered a jail term due to the serious charges, and cautioned it was McRoberts' last chance.

He sentenced McRoberts to two and a half years probation with strict conditions including random drug testing and psychiatric assessments, and recorded a conviction.

"This is your last chance," Mr Carroll said.

He ordered the phone be forfeited to the Crown.


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