Olympic athlete jailed for 25 years
Olympic kayaker and silver medallist Nathan Baggaley has been jailed for 25 years, over an elaborate plot to smuggle more than 500 kilograms of cocaine into Australia in 2018.
His brother Dru was handed down a sentence of 28 years’ jail.
Both brothers were convicted of attempting to bring in 650 kilograms of white powder (with an estimate of 512 kilograms ro be considered pure cocaine).
Nathan Baggaley, 45. Image: Getty Images
A Brisbane Supreme Court jury has found both the brothers guilty over the detailed high-seas plan to import cocaine worth up to $200 million.
Defence barrister Mark McCarthy, argued Dru should be handed a 20 year prison sentence, while Nathan’s defence lawyer, Anthony Kimmins, recommended his client should get 14.
Justice Ann Lyons handed the brothers their punishment, telling them: “It is clear that I must impose a sentence on both of you which is to punish your drug-related crime in a way which signals plainly to anyone who considers like offending that courts are both able and willing to make it clear that actions of this nature will receive quite substantial penalties.”
Justice Lyons said to Nathan: “You could have easily removed it [the boat] from the ability of Dru to use it … you knew full well what was happening, and you went along with it ... You played an essential role, it was one where you were trusted.”
To Dru she said: “You did not cooperate with law enforcement officials … you were caught red handed and on film disposing of the cocaine.”
A last-ditch bid for leniency by the lawyers defending the brothers failed on May 24.
Justice Lyons rejected a last-ditch bid for leniency on May 24, after Dru argued that thought he was picking up tobacco packages.
She decided that Nathan knew what the boat he bought was going to be used for.
Dru and boat driver Anthony Draper were both arrested on July 31, 2018.
Dru Baggaley, 39. Image: Supplied
NSW law enforcement had to employ a surveillance plane, a navy ship and a RAAF plane,
The dramatic chase was ended by a number of specialist heavily armed SERT officers on a Queensland Water Police vessel.
Nathan had claimed his brother told him he was buying the boat for a proposed whale-watching business at Byron Bay and that he was unaware of the drug plot.
Dru claimed he thought he was going to get packages of tobacco, not cocaine, and alleged he was kidnapped and forced to go on the long voyage.