Rising Newcastle rugby union star Dylan Heins has pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine with a street value of between $41,900 and $67,040.
But the 24-year-old from Lambton – the son of a former police officer – is still yet to enter pleas on a string of other drugs charges, including an allegation of supplying a ‘large commercial’ quantity of drugs, an offence which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Mr Heins and his co-accused – former boxer Kirk Lawton, Steven Thomas Terry and Sydney man Tahar Eldarwich – were arrested last year after a lengthy investigation into a local drug supply ring by detectives with Strike Force Rupas.
The group allegedly used coded text messages and phone calls to covertly discuss sending cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA between Newcastle and North Queensland.
Investigators allege the term ‘‘doctors’’ meant one ounce of cocaine, a ‘‘normal one’’ was an ounce of methylamphetamine, a ‘‘full box’’ was a thousand MDMA tablets and drug money was “cabbage”, according to police facts.
Mr Heins appeared before Magistrate Ian Cheetham in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to charges of supplying an indictable quantity of a prohibited drug and participating in a criminal group.
The two charges stemmed from a deal done while he was under police surveillance at Charlestown Square last July.
In text message intercepts tendered to the court, Mr Heins was told to send three ‘‘doctors’’ by express post to an address in Yeppoon.
Mr Heins decided he did not want to send the parcel himself, but packaged 83.8 grams of cocaine up at home before driving to the shopping centre to meet co-accused Steven Terry, who allegedly mailed the parcel.
A subsequent raid on Mr Heins’s family home turned up 2.37 grams of cocaine and $1955 in cash, locked in a safe found underneath his bed.
The judge will take into account charges of dealing with the proceeds of crime and drug possession in sentencing.
Heins was a first grade player for Newcastle and Hunter rugby club the Waratahs and has represented Newcastle in the code.
He will remain on bail until his sentencing in Newcastle District Court on October 20. The seven other charges against him were adjourned until December.