A man who admitted to hiding a friend's multi-million dollar drug stash at his Palmerston home will spend another three months in jail before he gets a chance at residential rehabilitation.
Christopher Michael French, 39, fronted the ACT Supreme Court on Friday, having previously pleaded guilty to two counts of drug trafficking and one count of possessing the proceeds of crime.
The court heard police found French with paint on his hands and pants when they raided his Palmerston home in September 2016.
A timber panel concealing a storage cavity under a staircase had been freshly painted - at odds with the rest of the house - so officers unscrewed it and used a battering ram to dislodge a safe.
Inside the safe, police found four freezer bags containing more than three kilograms of heroin and methylamphetamine. The drugs had an estimated street value of up to $2.8 million, the court heard on Friday.
In his sentencing remarks, Justice John Burns said French told police "whatever was under the stairs" did not belong to him; it belonged to a friend and he was doing them a favour.
French didn't know what substances were in the freezer bags, or what quantity of drugs - but his "wilful blindness" to those facts didn't reduce his moral culpability for stashing them, Justice Burns said.
The court heard French told police his friend gave him $27,000 over a period of time as payment for guarding the drugs. Officers analysed his bank account and found $21,335 in what they determined to be proceeds of crime.
Justice Burns said French lost his rental accommodation at the Palmerston house after it was raided, so police could not come back later and issue him with a summons.
The court previously heard officers' decision not to do so during the raid was "tactical".
French was before the NSW courts for unrelated matters in January 2019 - more than two years after the raid - when he was extradited to the ACT to face the drug trafficking and proceeds of crime charges.
Justice Burns said although French didn't intend to sell the drugs, he was involved in a somewhat sophisticated "significant trafficking enterprise" that would have harmed the community.
He noted French's drug addiction, gambling disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and major depressive disorder, and said he would shorten French's non-parole period so he might attend residential rehabilitation in the near future.
French has been in custody at Canberra's Alexander Maconochie Centre since January 9, 2019, the court heard.
Justice Burns sentenced him to a total three years and five months in jail, backdated to January 9 last year to account for time already served. French will be eligible for parole on June 8, 2020, and will have to abide by the conditions of a good behaviour order if he is released.