A LOCAL drug baron was yesterday jailed for 10 years for his involvement in trafficking an estimated $2.6 million worth of the drug ice in 2010 and 2011.
Delacombe man Rodney Dale Weightman, 47, will spend a minimum of six years and eight months in prison for establishing a presence in the illicit drug trade that made him an associate of another drug kingpin, described by a judge as “the new (Tony) Mokbel”.
A one-time successful harness racing trainer, Weightman was arrested on April 7, 2011, when his Delacombe home was raided after a 15-month Australian Federal Police investigation that revealed he was part of a national organised crime syndicate.
During the raid, police seized huge quantities of drugs, a pill press, laboratory equipment, about $38,000 cash and cash-counting machines.
Evidence gathered came from 200,000 telephone intercepts, 5000 hours of listening-device material and surveillance.
At the time police executed 25 search warrants on properties in Ballarat and Melbourne, seizing an estimated $4.5 million is assests, including two residential properties, a light aircraft and three luxury vehicles.
The County Court in Melbourne heard that Weightman was involved in every facet of drug trafficking, from sourcing ingredients and packaging drugs, to selling them and collecting debts.
Judge Richard Maidment said Weightman’s rise in drug trafficking included his association with Mohammed Oueida, a convicted Melbourne drug trafficker who became known as “the new Mokbel” because of his standing and flamboyant lifestyle.
Weightman pleaded guilty to one charge of trafficking a drug of dependence and was found guilty by a jury on a charge of trafficking a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence.
Judge Maidment told Weightman his activities were in the nature of high-level organised crime.
He said Weightman was at one stage convicted and jailed for selling ecstasy to members of the Bandidos motorcycle gang.
Judge Maidment said he doubted whether Weightman felt any moral culpability for his offending.
“Having listened to hours and hours of your criminal activities and to how your case was presented, I am not sure that you are genuinely remorseful,” he said.