Coke kingpin loved the ‘high’ life
COCAINE trafficker Matt Hilton loved the high life. He drove a luxury Range Rover, wore designer clothes, commissioned a $120,000 speed boat, lived in a swank inner-city apartment, and enjoyed a ritzy overseas trip to Vegas.
The Cairns fitness trainer, former hairdresser and nightclub security company owner - with more than 13,000 followers on Instagram - is one of a new generation of party drug traffickers more "business than gangster''.
With his Adonis looks, ripped physique and stunning girlfriend, the 33-year-old muscle model liked to post pictures of his gym workouts, tattoos, and social life in the tropical far north Queensland tourist haven. Today he faces up to 11 years in jail.
In a covert two-year sting by police using phone taps and a listening device planted in his car, Hilton was unmasked as a "wholesale" party drug dealer with links to a sophisticated organised crime racket operating between Sydney and Cairns.
In a sentence to be handed down by Cairns Supreme Court Judge Jim Henry today, Hilton pleaded guilty to trafficking steroids, cocaine, crystal meth and ecstasy pills between March 1, 2016 and January 3, 2018.
Crown prosecutor Nathan Crane said Hilton was known for his cocaine having a "diesel smell of signature quality" of up to 63 per cent purity.
Hilton sold by the ounce and "jumped on it" or "cut it" one-to-one using substances like creatine to double the amount and sold it for $300 a gram or wholesale for $6500 an ounce, the court was told.
He sold huge quantities over more than two years but busts by police later found grams of coke with purity as low as 10 per cent, the court heard.
Justice Henry heard how Hilton had sourced his drugs through a mate who dealt with Sydney-based Lebanese businessman Kalid Kanj, who provided Hilton with an encrypted phone, and has since fled the country.
Police found $4000 in cash and $43,880 in unsourced funds in a bank account when they closed the operation and raided his home in January 3, 2018.