Coledale dealer gets 625 hours of community service

A Coledale man has been slapped with a whopping 625 hours of community service – the equivalent of almost four months’ full-time work – after he was caught selling drugs.

Joel Bennett Forbes pleaded guilty to four charges of drug supply and one charge of possessing ammunition in Port Kembla Local Court on Tuesday, earning him the substantial penalty.

The court heard police attached to Strike Force Lorrie secretly recorded Forbes organising to supply quantities of cannabis on at least four occasions between March 27 and March 31 this year.

He was heard offering to supply the drug to an unknown person at 5.50pm on March 27, while the following day,police monitored a mid-morning exchange of 56.8 grams of cannabis between Forbes and a known male.

On March 31, Forbes was recorded twice supplying cannabis to different people in the space of half an hour. Police swooped on his Hyde Lane home on April 1, uncovering almost 1.2 kilograms of cannabis, including plants that Forbes claimed to have found in the bush.

He admitted to cutting leaf from the plants.

Cannabis resin, seeds and leaf was found throughout the house including the main bedroom and kitchen areas.

Police also discovered a bullet in the main bedroom, which Forbes said he’d been given as a present as his nickname was “Bullet”.

In court on Tuesday, the 35-year-old said through his lawyer that he enjoyed working and would commit to performing community service if given such an order as punishment.

Magistrate Mark Richardson agreed to the order, but handed Forbes 150 hours on each of three drug supply charges and 175 hours on the fourth, giving him a total of 625 hours to perform, or just under four months worth of 40-hour working weeks.

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