Giovanni Stefano Catania had $18,000 in fake $50 notes when busted by police in May 2018 for drug supply.
Giovanni Stefano Catania had $18,000 in fake $50 notes when busted by police in May 2018 for drug supply.

$18,000 in fake money among ice addict's illegal stash

A SOUTHEAST Queensland criminal thought his stash of almost $18,000 in fake money plus drugs and a home-made shotgun was safe from prying eyes when he hid them in his car.

Cops proved otherwise and were quick to find the illicit haul during a search of Giovanni Stefano Catania's vehicle after pulling him over at Rocklea about 13 months ago.

Catania was caught with $17,800 in counterfeit $50 bills, a single-barrel shotgun and haul of drugs in that raid but cops also found him with a knife, stolen number plates and camera, drug paraphernalia and well over 100g of methamphetamine along with morphine, fentanyl, marijuana, oxycodone and suboxone in two other searches on separate occasions in May and April 2018.

Police found some of the drugs hidden in a secret panel in his car and the fake cash tucked under the vehicle's back seat. Some of the illegal items were discovered in his backpack when pulled over on a motorbike at Rocklea and others were found at his home in Morayfield.

Catania pleaded guilty to a long list of charges in Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday and was sentenced to 5.5 years in jail.

With a year spent on remand, the 35-year-old will be eligible to apply for parole in March, 2020.

Justice Martin Burns told Catania he would not be paroled if he failed to get his addiction to drugs under control.

Justice Burns said the defendant failed to take advantage of rehabilitation programs while serving a previous jail terms for similar offending as well as violence.

"He commits these offences while on bail and not long after his release from prison - this reads like someone who cannot control his addiction," Justice Burns said.

"His future looks bleak."

Justice Burns said it was clear Catania was selling drugs to pay for his own addiction. - NewsRegional