Alice Springs financial adviser Harris Shortland jailed for drug trafficking

Financial adviser Harris Shortland will spend up to six and a half years in prison for smuggling 40 grams of cocaine into Alice Springs.

In October, a jury found Shortland guilty of importing a marketable amount of cocaine from Los Angeles to Alice Springs inside a motorcycle helmet in July 2018.

He was also convicted of possession of $18,000 from the sale of cocaine in Alice Springs and supplying a commercial quantity of cocaine into the city between December 2017 and July 2018.

The counts each carry a potential maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

On Thursday, Shortland was sentenced to six and a half years in prison, with an expected four-year free parole period.

Judge Graham Hiley gave Shortland a separate sentence for each charge, but said they would be served with a “substantial degree of agreement”.

Shortland was arrested on November 2, 2018, and spent 18 days in custody until he was granted parole.

“Particularly serious” behavior

Judge Hiley said he applied a 10% reduction to Shortland’s sentence given the bans on leaving Alice Springs.

Shortland wore an electronic ankle monitoring bracelet and was subject to a period of curfews during the nearly three years he spent on bail.

Judge Hiley also noted that Shortland lost his green card in the United States and that his financial advisory business in Alice Springs suffered after his arrest.

“Your conduct is particularly serious for a number of reasons,” Judge Hiley said.

“Your involvement involved several transactions over a period from May to August 2018.

“It only stopped when the police intercepted the helmet package in mid-August.

“You were the primary beneficiary of the profits that flowed from these transactions.”

Judge Hiley described Shortland as a person of “good character” with no prior convictions and “very good” prospects for rehabilitation.

Geraldine L. Melton