AN emerging motorcycle star who was living a double life supplying large quantities of MDMA has been jailed for a maximum of three years and eight months in Newcastle District Court.
Ten days before he was arrested and charged by detectives investigating a major ecstasy supply syndicate that stretched from the Hunter to Tamworth, rising motorcycle star Hunter Ford was being lauded as the next big thing for Kawasaki Racing Team.
Ford, now 21, from Anna Bay, had just signed a lucrative two-year deal to continue his burgeoning career in Europe with the goal of competing in the 2021 Supersport 300 World Championship.
But when he wasn't riding or working as a commercial shed builder he was fully immersed in the commercial supply of MDMA.
He used Snapchat to spruik his business to potential customers or to discuss prices and quantities, recruited his then girlfriend and a family member to act as couriers to transport large quantities of the drug and discussed bashing those who owed him drug debts.
Ford pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, admitting to supplying 500 pills and 213 grams of MDMA as well as a charge of supplying an indictable quantity of MDMA, relating to 25 pills.
"I find that he was actively engaged in distributing drugs into the community for a period of at least three months," Judge Jennifer English said on Wednesday. "This young man had access to and supplied significant quantities of MDMA. There is no doubt his involvement in the drug trade was higher than the level of user dealer. His network stretched far and wide and he used others as couriers."
Ford's parents told the court that they had got him into motorcycling at a young age to keep him away from the perils of drugs and alcohol. He had ultimately earned a two-year contract to ride overseas.
During the height of his drug addiction and supply operation, Ford's father had warned him that he was jeopardising that opportunity. After his arrest, the contract was torn up and his conviction means he will likely be unable to travel overseas to compete.
Judge English ordered Ford serve a non-parole period of one year and eight months making him eligible for release in August, 2021.
There is no doubt his involvement in the drug trade was higher than the level of user dealer. His network stretched far and wide and he used others as couriers.Judge Jennifer English said on Wednesday.