$2.4 million man’s parole hope: 19-month sentence over Merbein South truck stop

A TRUCKIE caught with more than $2.4 million in cash near Mildura will be eligible for parole in less than two months.

Melbourne man Adrian Brett Miller was yesterday sentenced to 19 months behind bars, with a 12-month non-parole period, for negligently dealing with the proceeds of crime, possessing heroin and methamphetamine and attempting to escape from police custody.

Police pulled Miller over on the Sturt Highway at Merbein South on April 5 last year, where they found $2,407,900 in banknotes stashed in two suitcases and a duffle bag in his truck.

The 42-year-old at first told police he had found the money in the bushes by the roadside after he pulled over to look for a stick to change a flat tyre.

During the County Court sitting at Mil­dura last week, it emerged Miller was observed by Australian Federal Police surveillance taking the bags from a man in Adelaide the day before he was caught.

The Federal Police was able to keep watch on Miller as he made his way through Adelaide’s north and towards Mildura.

It was during a long rest stop at Renmark on the night of April 4 that curiosity got the better of Miller, whose lawyer told the court he took a photo of the cash in astonishment.

Judge Michael Bourke found Miller’s explanations “sparse” and noted he did not give evidence during the plea hearings.

The Crown accepted Miller’s plea of guilty to the lesser charge of negligently dealing with the proceeds of crime, after it initially charged him with the more serious offence of recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime.

Miller’s barrister Adam Baker had asked Judge Bourke to consider sentencing the truck driver to the 10 months he had already served and a community corrections order.

But Judge Bourke did not believe Miller was suitable for such an order, even though Corrections Victoria workers had assessed him as being suitable.

The judge said Miller had prospects for rehabilitation, although it would depend on the long-term heroin addict continuing to remain clean, and noted he had used his time in custody productively.

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