An entrepreneur and model has been jailed for his role in a dial-a-dealer cocaine drug network.
George Gerges, from Bondi Beach, Sydney, had been a productive member of the community until he fell in with the wrong crowd and began moonlighting as a cocaine courier, Downing Centre District Court heard on Thursday.
In jailing the 33-year-old bodybuilder for a year, Judge Paul Conlon said Gerges told a psychologist he had not used cocaine until he was 29.
‘I was getting approval from the social circles I was mixing with. Cocaine was a big part of this life,’ Judge Conlon quoted Gerges as saying.
Bondi-based entrepreneur and model George Gerges (pictured) has been jailed for one year for his role in a dial-a-dealer cocaine drug network that operated across metropolitan Sydney
At the time of his arrest in September 2015, Gerges (left) was dating ‘international cover girl’ Emma Rose (right). Ms Rose appeared in the first season of The Bachelor with Tim Robards
‘I knew it would probably end badly but couldn’t get away from it.’
Gerges had previously told the court he was making about $200,000 a year working for a strata company when he became part of a new social scene in which cocaine was taken regularly.
Initially he had no concerns about joining the drug taking but his use increased until he was going through 5 grams a day.
Gerges spent his savings and became $25,000 in debt to his dealers, who offered him a role delivering drugs.
‘I was hesitant at first but at the same time I needed to keep supplying myself with drugs and I had no other way to work off the debt,’ he told the court.
Gerges became one of six drivers working for the operation, the court heard.
‘His motivation was clearly financial in that he had developed a drug debt owing to his addiction and he needed to feed that addiction,’ Judge Conlon said.
‘Clearly the offender was not the one responsible for the implementation of the system and organisation.’
Gerges (pictured) was paid $50 per bag, totaling about $3,500 a week, but spent $7,000 each week on cocaine for his personal use. The court heard he first started using cocaine at age 29
The syndicate asked customers to use code words including ‘rock show tickets’ and ‘beers’ when placing orders by text message for cocaine (pictured)
Unfortunately for Gerges and other members of the drug syndicate, some of their clients were actually undercover police officers
Gerges previously told the court he was making about $200,000 a year working for a strata company. Pictured is some of the cash seized by police during raids on the cocaine syndicate
Gerges was paid $50 per bag, totaling about $3,500 a week, but was spending $7,000 each week on cocaine for his personal use.
The syndicate asked customers to use code words including ‘rock show tickets’ and ‘beers’ when placing orders by text message for cocaine.
Gerges would then be dispatched via text messages from a handler dubbed AH to meet customers, mostly in the city, and deliver them cocaine from his black Lexus.
Unfortunately for Gerges, some of his ‘customers’ were undercover police.
At the time of his arrest, in September 2015, Gerges was dating self-described ‘international cover girl and glamour model’ Emma Rose, who appeared in the first season of The Bachelor with Tim Robards.
He had been the managing director of Buy My Clothes, an online shopping site for second hand clothing, and a co-owner of online fashion label Studio Niche.
There is no suggestion Ms Rose had any knowledge of her then boyfriend’s crimes.
Before his sentencing Gerges had been working for his father as a labourer and had moved into a sales role with a company that wanted to continue employing him.
Gerges is arrested by NSW police in September 2015. He was the managing director of Buy My Clothes, an online shopping site for second hand clothing
Pictured are bags of cocaine seized by police. The court heard Gerges would make $50 profit from the sale of each bag
A sawn-off shotgun seized by police during the arrest on members of the cocaine syndicate
He had not used drugs since his arrest and found it gut-wrenching to admit his habit to his parents, who had moved their family to Australia from Lebanon when Gerges was six.
Gerges had been undergoing voluntary work, including feeding the homeless and spoken at schools about his fall from grace.
His charity work pre-dated his offending and several references testified to his otherwise good character.
Judge Conlon accepted Gerges was genuinely remorseful and was satisfied he would not re-offend.
He had been on bail for two years and met every condition asked of him.
Judge Conlon sentenced Gerges to a minimum 14 months in prison but with time served and due to court days, he will be eligible for parole on April 27 next year.
‘I wish you the best in the future,’ Judge Conlon told Gerges after sentencing.
Judge Conlon sentenced Gerges (pictured) to a minimum 14 months in prison but with time served and due to court days, he will be eligible for parole on April 27 next year