An electrician who hid cocaine worth upwards of $200,000 behind his oven should be locked up regardless of why he kept the drugs there, a senior prosecutor says.
Jake Low, 29, pleaded guilty last year to trafficking in a controlled drug after a police sniffer dog helped officers find about 1kg of cocaine in a wall cavity behind the kitchen appliance.
Defence lawyer Tim Sharman said at the time that the Dunlop man admitted to the offence on the basis that the drugs were not his and that he had merely allowed them to be "secreted" in his home.
The sparkie's sentencing was set down for September last year, but it has been delayed for the last nine months by a long-running legal argument about which court should decide his fate.
The case finally made its way on Tuesday morning to the ACT Supreme Court, which heard there was also now a dispute about Low's involvement with the illicit substance.
Crown prosecutor Trent Hickey told Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson he would argue it might still be open for the judge to find Low had planned to sell all or part of the cocaine for his own gain.
But he said it would ultimately be his submission that Low should be locked up even if the 29-year-old had only been "guarding or concealing" the drugs for someone else.
Police said in a statement the day after officers seized the "brick" of cocaine in May 2020 that it was worth roughly $230,000 on the street.
Mr Hickey said on Tuesday, however, that the drugs could have gone for anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000, depending on whether they were sold in a wholesale arrangement or cut for individual customers.
He told the court the amount uncovered behind Low's oven represented "just short of 2000 street deals".
Justice Loukas-Karlsson, who described this as "significant", decided to adjourn the matter until July 21 for a disputed facts hearing.
She ordered an updated assessment of Low's suitability for an intensive correction order, which is a type of jail sentence served in the community.
"That doesn't mean that's necessarily going to be the way that the court deals with your case," Justice Loukas-Karlsson warned Low.
"But it is important that the court explores all the options in your case."
Low, who spent 10 days in custody before being granted bail last year, remains on conditional liberty.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: