Former star rugby league players jailed over cocaine ring

Former Roosters player John Touma arrives at the Brisbane Supreme Court. Courtesy: Brisbane Times

Former NSW State of Origin fullback Matt Seers has been jailed for his part in a drug trafficking network which supplied cocaine to professional footballers. 

It comes after the kingpin of a drug network, that supplied cocaine to NRL players and other professional footballers, was jailed earlier on Wednesday. 

Seers was jailed for four years, suspended after 12 months, while the kingpin of the network, former Eastern Suburbs Roosters player John Touma, was jailed for nine years. 

Seers and Touma, as well as two other men, pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Wednesday to a string of charges including trafficking drugs relating to the 2014-15 Gold Coast Titans cocaine scandal. 

The court heard Touma ran a drug ring from his Mermaid Waters unit to supply drugs on 143 occasions to about 50 customers in 2014. 

Seers, Adam Raymond Surplice and Peter Ierhias Kassiotes were Touma’s drivers, travelling to Sydney, Rockhampton and Toowoomba to collect and deliver drugs and cash. 

Seers and Surplice were each sentenced to four years’ jail to be suspended after one year for their roles. 

Kassiotes, who was involved for a shorter period of time, was also sentenced to four years but will be released after serving six months.

The court heard Touma, Seers and Kassiotes were all battling addictions at the time of their involvement, and Touma was struggling to deal with the murder of his mother in 2010.

The four men were arrested as part of an extensive Crime and Corruption Commission investigation which led to seven Gold Coast NRL players, along with code-hopping star Karmichael Hunt, being charged with drug offences.

Hunt, who had just finished his stint with AFL club Gold Coast Suns, was fined $2500 and stood down by Super Rugby’s Queensland Reds in 2015 for four counts of possessing cocaine. 

Former Queensland State of Origin player Jason Smith was released immediately on parole in 2016 after being sentenced to three years’ jail for buying 6.5 ounces of cocaine from Touma.