Confessions of a cocaine dealer
A COCAINE dealer who admitted "all day every day drugs were on my mind" has been jailed for at least three years for supplying the drug to Sydney partygoers.
Waeil Rustom, 42, told police he became a dealer to support his own drug habit - an addiction that began by snorting speed after he injured his back in a workplace accident and grew to consuming three grams of cocaine a day by the time his drug ring was busted by Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad detectives in 2015.
The father-of-four used a number of drivers to distribute bags of cocaine to people around Sydney, including eastern suburbs identities and inner city professionals. High-profile sporting stars were also reportedly customers of Rustoms'.
The cocaine sold for $300 a bag or $1000 for a "ball" of the drug. The ring worked by customers calling and texting in code their cocaine orders through to Robert Vernon, 42, who was the link between the drivers and clients and Rustom.
Rustom appeared in Sydney's Downing Centre District Court today for supplying a commercial quantity of cocaine. The court heard the money made from the drug dealing enterprise simply fuelled two other addictions, gambling and sex with prostitutes.
Judge Garry Neilson told the court a psychologists report was "clear" the money raised was used to "service the offenders cocaine habit and also the gambling habit, but also to pay for prostitutes".
As a result his mortgage repayments and caring for his family came second to his addictions, Judge Neilson said.
The psychologists report, tendered to court, laid bare Rustom's thinking at this time.
"I thought I'd get rich, but it was actually lose, lose, lose." The psychologist wrote that in the brief moments he worried about getting caught he simply used more cocaine and told himself "everything is going to be OK".
He said the first time he was offered cocaine was at a mates bucks party. In the affidavit Rustom described how the drug blew his mind.
"When I was taking cocaine it made me feel alive. I had no stress I was relieved from all the work dramas and family problems I was having."
Judge Neilson said any statements made about how his drug abuse began had to be taken with a "large grain of salt" because they were "self serving".
He said Rustom may have first used cocaine at a bucks party but taking stimulants at a bucks was not unusual - but the stimulant "in our society is usually alcohol".
The judge also said there was "no correlation" with having a back injury and disregarded the psychologists report that found a "pivotal point" in his life was after his brother's murder conviction.
He blasted the psychologist for falling victim to a "common fallacy" in psychology and medical practice that just because something occurs after another thing it was caused by the first event.
He said there was "no logic and thought" in thinking like that.
In his affidavit, Rustom explained how he switched from being simply a drug user to a drug dealer.
A mate of his asked him to source two grams of cocaine for him.
"At the time I was already an addict and had a regular contact who would provide me with cocaine ... I contacted my contact and organised two and a half grams and lied to my friend and gave him two and kept half for myself."
He said: "The first time I supplied drugs it wasn't even for money - it was for drug gain."
Judge Neilson said that wasn't an uncommon thing to hear in court.
"The offender said towards the end [before his 2015 arrest] "all day every day drugs were on my mind. The sensation of consuming cocaine provided me with such a high I thought I was invincible and didn't want to come down."
In his affidavit, Rustom said taking up to four grams of cocaine a day "wasn't enough".
"I was thriving off drugs and it got to the point where I couldn't sleep without it".
Rustom had a long criminal history of mainly driving offences which included driving while disqualified. The court heard that showed a "contempt' for the law and legal system that Judge Neilson branded "arrogant" and "reprehensible".
Despite that, he said Rustom was "clearly ashamed of himself" and felt bad for the shame he'd caused his family.
Rustom said in his affidavit presented in court: "I honestly believe that coming to jail saved my life. I have all the time in the world to think and reflect on my life. I was always chasing what I didn't have and now I'm in a situation where my family is financially unstable. I have failed my family."
The amount of drugs sold was relatively small but a jail term was still needed to deter others and denounce the conduct.
"Illicit drugs destroy lives."
Judge Neilson said even if there was only a small number of users developed problems that was "too many". Cocaine could also not be dismissed as a "party drug for the wealthy".
" ... there is no adequate excuse or explanation for involving oneself in supply".
On the supply a commercial quantity of cocaine charge, Judge Neilson gave Rustom a 25 per cent discount for an early guilty plea and jailed him for five years three months with a non parole period of three years three months.
Vernon, 42, was also sentenced today for his role in the drug dealing enterprise.
Vernon was provided with a car and mobile phone by Rustom to do the deals, some of which were to undercover officers. He was heard in conversations that were recorded by police discussing the deals with one of the drivers and in one referred to Rustom as "the big fella".
Drug deals were done from Manly to the eastern suburbs that mainly consisted of a single gram, although some were up to 15 grams.
Vernon was jailed for three years nine months with a non parole period of two years for supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug
Four other men, who were the drivers in the drug ring, will be sentenced in October.