The court heard the firefighting drug dealer suffered a debilitating decade-long addiction to methamphetamine.
The court heard the firefighting drug dealer suffered a debilitating decade-long addiction to methamphetamine.

Volunteer firefighter busted dealing drugs at music festival

A volunteer firefighter has been sentenced to a suspended period of imprisonment after a lengthy and debilitating methamphetamine addiction drove him to deal drugs at a Brisbane music festival.

Albany Creek man James Daniel Reid, 28, pleaded guilty to 12 charges at the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on Friday, January 29.

James Reid received a suspended prison sentence for dealing drugs at a music festival in 2019.
James Reid received a suspended prison sentence for dealing drugs at a music festival in 2019.

The court heard the charges, which included supplying dangerous drugs, possession of a weapon and driving under the influence of methamphetamines, were the culmination of a five page criminal history.

Phone data revealed Reid twice supplied an unknown drug to other people at the X Festival at the RNA Showgrounds in November 2019, in exchange for $99 and a small amount of cannabis.

Reid was detained at the showgrounds and the court heard it was the third time he'd been busted for supplying dangerous drugs.

Given the small amount of money exchanged, Magistrate Melanie Ho accepted the deal was likely to support his own drug use rather than for commercial gain.

Since then, Reid was found to be in possession of cannabis and a water pipe at Albany Creek on February 2, driving under the influence of methamphetamines at Albany Creek on August 18, driving on Old Northern Rd while his license was suspended on September 6 and driving while under the influence of methamphetamines, while disqualified from holding a license, on October 4.

According to the police prosecutor, Reid directly disobeyed the court order not to drive because he wanted to pick up a pizza.

Reid was also found to be in possession of knuckle dusters which he had fabricated himself.

Defence lawyer Nathan Hounsell of Hounsell Cunningham told the court Reid was an apprentice boilermaker and steel fabricator who had an ongoing issue with drug abuse and addiction.

"He was introduced to meth at a young age while working as an apprentice painter," Mr Hounsell said.

"There was not an immediate issue when he started using it as it was just recreational use on the weekend.

"His use increased over time and by 2017 it had become a more serious issue."

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Mr Hounsell further instructed the court Reid was employed on a full-time basis within his family's company, CR Engineering, and had volunteered as a firefighter to battle the infamous blazes that tore across northern NSW in the summer of 2019 and 2020.

Magistrate Ho noted that in the five pages of criminal history Reid seldom had a conviction recorded, likely "because you do wonderful things like volunteer with the rural fire service".

Reid was sentenced to three years of probation, three months of imprisonment wholly suspended for an operational period of 12 months and he was disqualified from driving for 28 months.

Convictions were recorded.

Originally published as Volunteer firefighter busted dealing drugs at music festival