Hotels

Man who left 7kg of drugs at Adelaide hotel dodges prison for “extremely amateur” behaviour

A man who left more than seven kilograms of drugs at the front counter of an Adelaide hotel has received a suspended sentence due to the “extremely amateur” nature of his actions.

In May 2019, 31-year-old Constantine Psarras left a sports bag at the counter of the Findon Hotel in Adelaide while he went in search of money to pay for a booking at the property.

An employee of the hotel showed the bag, which appeared heavy, to the assistant manager who found it contained a plastic container with a “viscous liquid-like drug” in it, according to sentencing remarks from Judge Paul Cuthbertson.

When he returned to the hotel at 9pm, hotel staff called police after Psarras engaged in a heated conversation with staff over supplying identification and credit card details.

Police found the container in Psarras’ sports bag contained 7.68 kilograms of an illegal drug called fantasy and charged him with drug trafficking.

However, the judge noted Psarras’ actions were “unusual in the extreme” and are “far from suggesting a highly professional, serious and organised crime offence”.

Judge Cuthbertson said Psarras’ actions were “extremely amateur” and suggested he was under the influence of drugs at the time.

“The involvement, so far as I can see, was a one-off involvement and not an ongoing type offence,” Judge Cuthbertson said.

The judge also noted that besides Psarras having no previous criminal record until two weeks before he was caught with the drugs, he also suffered from allergies to concrete that he developed shortly after joining his family concrete business.

“Through to 2019 he undertook some odd jobs in building and started to socialise with an inappropriate group of acquaintances,” Judge Cuthbertson added.

“This led up to the current charges and his arrest in May 2019 for the offence for which he is before the court.”

Psarris received a sentence of five years in prison which was suspended, so long as he meets certain requirements.

The maximum penalty for his charges is usually a fine of $1 million or life imprisonment, or both.

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