A would-be Melbourne paramedic turned to drug running to make some easy money to keep up with his peers.
Michael Ung, 24, is now facing a maximum term of life in jail and his girlfriend Beatrice Chang – who was in the car with him when police uncovered the stash – is pleading to be spared conviction.
Ung was trafficking four kilograms of methylamphetamine, or ice, from Sydney to Melbourne when stopped on the Hume Highway as part of a pre-planned intercept on January 24, the County Court was told on Friday.
He made $6000 from the trip and up to $25,000 in total for his drug running journeys, spending the money on a car and entertaining Chang, Prosecutor Kathryn Hamill said.
The court was told Chang knew Ung was involved in trafficking because they had discussed what they’d do with the money.
Ung pleaded guilty to trafficking a large commercial quantity of a drug of dependence while Chang, 24, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of trafficking a drug of dependence.
Defence barrister Trevor Wallwork said Ung became involved as a drug courier for “easy money” because he lacked hope for the future and felt he was falling behind his peers.
The former paramedic student suffered lupus, a chronic illness, which at times left him bedridden and he had gambled away his savings.
Ung told police he had “screwed up a lot” and told them not to blame his girlfriend.
“It’s not hers, please don’t do anything to her,” he told investigators.
“It was my choice in the end.”
Mr Wallwork said his client was grappling with the impact of his actions on his relationship and his family.
It prompted Judge John Carmody to respond: “I’ll see the impact of the methylamphetamine in the community for the rest of my time as a judge.”
Chang’s defence urged she be spared conviction due to her minor involvement.
John Dickinson QC said Ung had put the love of his life in a “big bind”.
“He’s put her in an awful position, and put himself in an awful position too,” Mr Dickinson said.
Chang has already served 43 days in pre-sentence custody and Mr Dickinson urged that the masters graduate be spared a conviction.
“You can’t really expect a naive, student-aged, gullible, inexperienced young woman to walk away in that situation,” he said.
The pair will be sentenced at a later date.