Koonawarra drug maker gets 10 years for ecstasy haul
One of three men who manufactured $3 million of ecstasy in a clandestine drug laboratory at Kanahooka last year has been jailed for 10 years.
Sentencing Christos Agoris in Wollongong District Court yesterday, Judge Paul Conlon said he was satisfied Agoris had played a major role in setting up and running the laboratory, in what he described as a well-planned and organised criminal activity.
Police found more than 67kg of pure dioxymethamphetamine at the laboratory in Linton Court, Kanahooka, which the court heard was generally sold in tablet form.
Its properties were usually more intense and hallucinogenic than ecstasy, which was manufactured from the same chemical precursors.
Judge Conlon said the pure drug was worth about $700,000 if sold in bulk but about $3 million if sold on the street.
Agoris, 34, of Woombye Close, Koonawarra, was arrested on March 20 last year by officers from Strike Force Eale, set up on February 8 to target his involvement in the manufacture of ecstasy.
Agoris' accomplices allegedly drove a black Audi at police during the operation, before mounting the footpath and driving off at speed.
Shortly after, the car crashed through the fence of Lakeside Crematorium and two men ran off.
After his arrest, Agoris had initially denied having any links to illicit drugs, claiming he was just a carpenter fixing up the Kanahooka house for a relative.
His story started to unravel when police searched his residence a short distance away and found chemical precursors used in the manufacture of illegal drugs.
They also found $25,000 in cash stuffed in his underwear drawer.
The police had monitored telephone calls between Agoris and his two accomplices for at least six weeks with the assistance of the NSW Crime Commission and once heard them talking about being "six hours into a 16-hour cook".
On another occasion, Agoris discussed how close he had come to blowing up the laboratory, saying he had been forced to pour water over dangerously smoking equipment.
Judge Conlon said the courts frequently stressed that people who manufactured drugs deserved stern punishment and in this case it had involved a large-scale manufacture with significant quantities of chemicals being utilised.
Agoris will be eligible for parole on March 19, 2018.
BY PAUL MCINERNEY
17 Dec, 2009 04:00 AM