Ex-Barossa worker jailed over drug trafficking

A NORTHERN suburbs man who trafficked significant amounts of drugs to sustain a drug problem that had been fuelled by his “well-paid” employment at a Barossa winery has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Kieran Raymond Schupelius, 24, of Craigmore, was jailed for a cumulative five years and two months in the District Court last week, after committing 28 separate offences relating to firearms, drugs trafficking and other bail breaches.

Schupelius’ residence was raided by police in February last year, resulting in the discovery of both 1.48g and 3.44g of cocaine, 3.69g of methylamphetamine, 46g of 1,4-Butanediol and 3.42g of MDMA.

Police also seized $7500 in cash, several sets of digital scales, tick lists involving both people and values of various drugs, seven mobile phones, six electronic tablets, eight laptops and numerous medicinal tablets containing pseudoephedrine.

The court heard telephone records also demonstrated Schupelius was trading in significant quantities of the drugs.

Schupelius was also labelled a “serious firearms offender” after police found a “pen gun” at his property during a raid last August, when he didn’t have a firearms licence.

Schupelius admitted to police that the pen gun – which could not be fired on testing, but still met the definition of a prohibited firearm – was a “pin punch” assembled from parts he obtained at the Barossa winery for which he worked.

The 24-year-old, who had completed his apprenticeship as a boilermaker at the winery, was dismissed by the wine company after failing to shake off his mounting drug use problem.

The court heard his drug use was initially fuelled by his “well-paid employment”, before it caused him to turn to drug trafficking to pay for it.

The offences were committed after Schupelius entered into a good behaviour bond at the Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court in March 2016 in relation to previous dishonesty, firearms, motor vehicles and bail breach offences.

Schupelius’ five-year sentence, with a non-parole period of three years, was made additional to the time he’s already spent in custody, having been remanded last August.


Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.

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