JEREMY Michael Hunt was a baby-faced 19-year-old in 2006 when he drunkenly steadied a .22 calibre rifle on the roof of a car outside a home at Rutherford and fired three shots, killing a woman inside.
But nearly seven years later, Hunt walked from jail a man intent on rising to the top of the Hunter's lucrative methylamphetamine supply trade.
His first port of call was Ronald Rex Edward Garland - a trusted associated also convicted over the killing of Shandele Macey, who was shot in the neck by Hunt as she parted the blinds on the front window of her Rutherford home in the early hours of March 20, 2006.
Garland had harboured Hunt during his time on the run and then kept him updated on the police investigation once he fled north.
He even provided information to Hunt that helped him avoid a police raid and evade arrest for a few more days. For his loyalty, Garland served five months in jail.
Reunited after Hunt's release on parole, the pair put together a team of low-level user-dealers - Guy Shane Mallinson, Michelle Leonard, Codie Porter and Nathan Williams, among others - who Hunt controlled from a property at Woodville and tracked using GPS devices that he fitted to their cars.
Even Garland, now 48, who was the clear second-in-command, had tracking devices installed on both of his cars.
When quizzed by police he said they were fitted “so Jeremy knew where I was… so he can find me”.
It was Garland who supplied the ice to the syndicate’s dealers, but he got the money to buy in bulk from Hunt.
“[Hunt] had an integral financial role in the drug supply business,” a statement of agreed facts says.
Hunt, who spoke in code on the telephone, sourced the drugs from Sydney and split it up into one or two ounce bags, which he gave to Garland and Porter to on-sell.
Garland and Porter drove around with a portable safe, which they filled with cash and ice, and reported back to Hunt each week with thousands of dollars in cash.
One low-ranking syndicate member told police he could remember being at Hunt’s house and seeing him divide a large amount of cash up into $10,000 bundles.
Hunt – who was also operating a legitimate metal fabrication business at the time he was running the ice ring – paid one employee $100 in cash and half a gram of ice for every day of work.
Two days before Strike Force Yellowbox detectives smashed the syndicate, Hunt checked into the Hilton at Surfers Paradise, a luxury hotel on the Gold Coast’s party strip, where he had booked a room for 60 nights and paid $28,000.
It was Hunt’s second opulent holiday in the space of three months.
He had also bought a Toyota Landcruiser and other items and had accrued large amounts of cash. All up it totaled $194,000, which police said was the proceeds of Hunt’s ice supply business.
He was living the high life.
But after his arrest, Garland told detectives he didn’t make any money from his high-ranking role in the drug supply business and all the cash went “to my supplier”.
Garland said he didn’t have “money put away” and was not living “an exactly luxuriant f---ing life or anything like that.”
On Friday, Hunt was jailed for a maximum of five years and 11 months, with a non-parole period of three years and six months.
He had pleaded guilty to supplying a commercial quantity of methylamphetamine and dealing with the proceeds of crime to the tune of $194,000.
He will be eligible for parole in November, 2019.
Garland pleaded guilty to supplying a large commercial quantity of methylamphetamine - which carries a maximum of life in jail - in relation to 723 grams of ice that he supplied over five months in 2015 and 2016.
And in September last year he was jailed for a maximum of seven-and-a-half years, with a non-parole period of four-and-a-half years.
Mallinson pleaded guilty to supplying 331 grams of ice between January and May, 2016, participating in a criminal group and dealing with $12,000 which was the proceeds of crime. He was jailed for at least two years and three months and has since been released on parole.
Williams and Leonard both pleaded guilty to supplying ice on an ongoing basis and were jailed for 18 months.
Mallinson's long-term partner, Karen Morris, was ordered to complete 150 hours of community service for supplying seven grams of ice. Porter was sentenced to a 14-month intensive corrections order after pleading guilty to supplying ice on an ongoing basis.
Back in 2006, Hunt had agreed to "sort out" Ms Macey for truck driver Brian Andrew Kaiser - a man hell-bent on revenge for what Supreme Court Justice Graham Barr said were "imagined slights" and a $300 drug debt.
Kaiser and Ms Macey had been in an intermittent sexual relationship, which she repeatedly tried to end.
She took out an apprehended violence order against Kaiser, which he breached.
He tried to break into her house, but was discovered, arrested and refused bail.
When he was released he decided to teach Ms Macey a lesson.
"He had developed a strong resentment of the deceased over a long time," Justice Barr said when sentencing Kaiser in 2007.
"He thought little of her and decided to punish her. He was persistent in his efforts to inflict punishment by way of revenge."
Kaiser sent Hunt around to Ms Macey's house at a time when he knew he had an alibi. The car Hunt was in pulled up out the front at 1am on March 20, 2006, and Ms Macey peeked through the blinds as Hunt fired the first shot into the window. It struck her in the neck and killed her.
Hunt showed no remorse for the killing and was later recorded saying it was "probably a godsend" for Ms Macey, who was "on the downhill run anyway".
After initially being charged with murder, Hunt and Kaiser both pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Kaiser was jailed for a maximum of 10 years and 11 months, with a non-parole period of eight years and two months. Hunt was sentenced to a maximum of nine years, with a non-parole period of six years and nine months.
Kaiser appealed against the severity of the jail term, claiming Justice Barr erred by not finding that he and Hunt had pretty much the same level of criminality and that Kaiser must have realised Hunt might have killed Ms Macey. His appeal was thrown out and when he became eligible for parole in September 2015, it was refused.
Frustrated, Kaiser - now a minimum security inmate - escaped from South Coast Correctional Centre while performing maintenance work on the outside of the prison walls in January, 2016.
He stole a black Mercedes Eco van, which he used to ram into a petrol bowser at Nowra, hoping it would explode and kill him. He was taken back to jail and then released sometime in 2017.
But before his parole period for killing Ms Macey could expire, Kaiser, like Hunt, would find himself back behind bars.
In May, 2017, the convicted killer was arrested and charged over a prolonged domestic violence attack at Redhead beach.
Kaiser initially denied the charges and was set to face a trial in Newcastle District Court, but was re-arraigned last month and pleaded guilty to two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and intimidation.
He will be sentenced in December.
Kaiser was a party to another matter mentioned briefly in the Supreme Court last week – The State of New South Wales v Brian Andrew Kaiser.
Since his most recent domestic violence charges, the State has applied for an extended supervision order under the Crimes High Risk Offenders Act.
It appears that this time, once Kaiser is released from jail, someone will be keeping a close eye on him.
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