A former bodybuilder stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in drugs while working at a medical waste-disposal company, a court has heard.
The Victorian County Court heard John Gonzalez used amphetamines partly to gain a competitive edge in bodybuilding and when he had access to large amounts of drugs through his day job, it was too tempting to ignore.
The father of two is facing a maximum term of life in jail after a police search of his family home in 2007 uncovered an “Aladdin’s cave of drugs”, prosecutor George Slim told the pre-sentence hearing.
More than 17kg of pseudoephedrine, worth almost $700,000, was found among the stash of pills and other drugs stored at his Epping home.
Mr Slim said that amount was capable of making up to 13kg of methamphetamine.
“This is a case of possession for sale,” he said.
Gonzalez, 38, has pleaded guilty to 14 charges including trafficking a large commercial quantity of pseudoephedrine, three counts of trafficking a drug of dependence, six of possessing a drug of dependence and four of possessing precursor chemicals.
Mr Slim said Gonzalez was employed by SteriCorp at the time, a company specialising in the disposal of medical waste.
In his job as a leading hand, he had access to large quantities of drugs, which were supposed to be disposed of mainly by incineration.
Defence barrister Justin Hannebery told the pre-sentence hearing his client’s use of amphetamines helped introduce him to a drug environment.
He said his client used amphetamines as a body builder to help him lose weight and when he got a job disposing of pharmaceuticals, he took advantage of his position.
“You can’t deny the sheer opportunity presented to him vis-a-vis his employment environment,” Mr Hannebery said. “By his own drug usage he would’ve been aware of that advantage he had and that’s how it occurred.”
Mr Hannebery said a series of events, including his training partner committing suicide and his mother’s cancer diagnosis, had led him to feel depressed and contributed to his crimes.
He argued the charge of possessing a large commercial quantity of pseudoephedrine was not of the worst example and the trafficking charges only inferred that at some stage he intended to sell the drugs.
Gonzalez, who is on bail, will be sentenced at a date to be fixed.