Former estate agent Ryan Watsford sentenced to four years jail

Former estate agent Ryan Watsford sentenced to four years jail
Former estate agent Ryan Watsford sentenced to four years jail

Former Double Bay estate agent Ryan Watsford has been sentenced to four years in jail for his part in an alleged drug smuggling operation.

Watsford had been an estate agent during the events which are alleged to have taken place between 2016 and 2017.

The Sunday Telegraph reported he used his industry knowledge and industry mates to find empty houses in Sydney's eastern suburbs which were then used in the mail shipment of more than 580g of cocaine by a US drug syndicate.

One of the empty houses was the waterfront Rose Bay mansion which was being bought by the restaurateur John Szangolies, who had paid $16.8 million to the Bartley family with plans on knocking it down.

Watsford has been sentenced to a maximum eight years and six months in jail, with a non-parole period of four years.

The smuggling ring was accused of attempting to bring in 800 kg of MDMA and millions cigarettes in to Australia.

Police found a photo of three US Postal Service receipts relating to packages that had been sent to three Sydney address; 26 Tivoli Ave, Rose Bay, 51 Towns Rd, Vaucluse, and 22 Chisholm St, Darlinghurst.

The Rose Bay trophy, Villa Tivoli, had been listed with more than $20 million hopes by the family of racing identity "Melbourne Mick" Bartley.

It was sold in March 2016, with settlement scheduled for July 2016. Neither the vendors or buyers, the Bartley and Szangolies family, knew that their home had been pinpointed for the purpose of the clandestine postal delivery.

Watsford had directly called the owner of the Tivoli Ave property in early July who advised him when she'd be moving out within six days, ie ahead of the July 16 settlement by the new owner.

According to documents tendered in the Downing Centre District Court, eight packages containing 985g of cocaine were sent to “Hayes Alan” at 26 Tivoli Ave, Rose Bay.

Australian Federal Police intercepted the packages of cocaine on July 13, 2016, at the Australia Post facility at Alexandria.

The parcels were delivered July 15 when Watsford dropped off another member of the syndicate to collect the delivery from the postman. The US pickup guy was immediately arrested.

On June 27, 2016, police had previously intercepted a phone call where Watsford asked another Double Bay estate if the agency was holding any vacant properties, the court documents show.

The agent, who isn’t accused of any wrongdoing or knowledge of Watsford’s plan, advised on the property at 51 Towns Rd, Vaucluse.

The Sunday Telegraph's Brenden Hills coverage recently took out the Scoop Of The Year at the News Awards 2019 for his reporting work.

Estate Agents Jail

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