Reformed dealer spared extra jail


By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A trafficker found with massive amounts of GBL and pills in Doveton has avoided further jail due to his positive steps to reform.

Scott Gross, now 43, pleaded guilty to trafficking more than 2.2 kilograms of the stimulant gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) as well as trafficking 1150 alprazolam tablets.

The Wantirna father of two and former plumber was a car passenger intercepted by police late on 20 August 2018.

Police seized bottles of the clear, thick liquid drug GBL, totalling more than 44 times the minimum traffickable quantity.

Officers also seized bottles labelled ‘Kalma’. Inside were 309.5 grams of prescription anti-anxiety tablets of alprazolam, also known as Xanax.

The amount was 619 times the traffickable threshold.

On bail at the time, Gross was found with pills in his pocket and drug-dealing related texts on his phone.

In sentencing on 3 September, County Court of Victoria judge Fiona Todd noted Gross’s “not substantial” criminal history included a trafficking prior in 1997.

Gross was an addict at the time, “both the victim and perpetrator” of trafficking illicit drugs, Judge Todd noted.

His multi-varied drug abuse began at age 14, escalating to large amounts of ecstasy as well as meth, GHB and Xanax.

Gross had endured an “inordinate” and “unfair” three-year court delay that was not of his own making, Judge Todd said.

But during the delay, he built a “demonstrated track record” of his rehabilitation.

He’d successfully completed a CISP bail program, a community corrections order, drug and alcohol treatment, counselling and a mens behaviour change program.

Gross also gained full-time work and an employer’s glowing reference.

“It must have been a big ship to turn around,” Judge Todd said.

“You have travelled a very long way.”

Judge Todd said the sentencing must deter other offenders. But also the community was better protected by rewarding Gross’s reform rather than “puncture” it.

She noted Gross’s guilty plea and the impact of Covid on court lists and prisons.

Gross was convicted and jailed for 43 days, which he’d already served in remand.

He must also report for a 12-month community corrections order, including drug treatment.