Drug cooks jailed for running “factory style” meth lab

TWO Gold Coast men have today been jailed for their involvement in one of the most sophisticated “factory style” meth labs ever seen in Australia.

Dane Marriott, 39, and Matthew Smith, 31, were arrested after police raided their “resort-style” property nestled in the Currumbin Valley back in June 2011.

During the raid, police located a number of bungalows and other buildings which appeared to be hidden from the view of Tomewin Mountain Road.


Instead of finding holiday makers inside, officers uncovered a sophisticated, large-scale drug production operation.

The Supreme Court in Brisbane heard police found a large amount of chemicals and equipment used for making methylamphetamine and MDMA on the property, enough to produce up to three kilograms of meth or around 50,000 ecstasy tablets.

The Courier Mail reports, following six months of police surveillance, a total of eight raids were conducted on eight properties where more than $300,000 worth of manufacturing equipment was seized and up to 70kg of methamphetamines, with an estimated street value of $30 million, was uncovered.

Both men pleaded guilty to unlawfully producing amphetamines and possessing chemicals and equipment used to produce amphetamines.

Smith also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of unlawfully possessing a handgun with a defaced serial number.

Marriott was sentenced to three years behind bars and Smith two years.

But having already served time in pre-sentence custody, the pair are expected to be released on parole later this year.

Three other men were also jailed over their role in the operation, including the ringleader who was last year sentenced to six-and-a-half years behind bars.