A man who was deemed a "runner" in a drug ring busted by police late last year has been sentenced to prison in the community.
Appearing on bail at Inverell Local Court on Thursday, Nathan James Bourke, 31, faced one charge of taking part in the supply of a prohibited drug, namely Methylamphetamine.
Bourke was originally charged with three offences relating to the supply of drugs, after a search warrant examining phone calls and texts identified him as selling drugs he obtained in Inverell.
Bourke plead guilty to a single charge in August, and the other two were withdrawn and dismissed.
He was charged following the police operation called 'Strikeforce Midwest', established to investigate the supply of illicit drugs in and around Inverell.
His electronic communication, namely texts and phone calls, were monitored, with police identifying Bourke as being involved in the supply of illicit drugs - in total, seven grams of Methylamphetamine, with a street value of $5600.
Bourke's solicitor Stephen Collins told the court that while his client "couldn't turn back time" with his extensive criminal history, there was a "bright side" in his steps to make changes.
A father of two children with a steady partner, he was also caring for his mother in Narrabri which was "another string in his bow", Mr Collins submitted.
"He comes off a far less significant player in the offending" in comparison to Walker, Mr Collins said, which was noted by the Crown prosecution.
"There was a clear hierarchy present.... and Mr Bourke was more a 'street level runner'," the prosecution submitted.
It was noted however the offending was aggravated by the fact he was on parole at the time.
Magistrate Kemp condemned his actions despite acknowledging they were less serious than his co-offenders.
"But without drug runners like you, drugs wouldn't get out into the community," she said.
Bourke was convicted and placed on a supervised 12-month intensive corrections order.
Ordered to abstain from alcohol and drugs for three months, he will also have to complete 50 hours community service.
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