Former Australian Olympic swimmer Scott Miller has been sentenced to five years in prison for playing a “central role” in a drug syndicate.
Miller, 47, was sentenced in the District Court of New South Wales on Thursday after pleading guilty to two counts of supplying a prohibited drug, dealing with property proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.
Accomplices Wayne Allan Johnson, 49, and Justin Szabolics, 47, also plead guilty to several charges, including supplying methamphetamine and heroin and participating in a criminal group.
Miller was initially arrested in February 2021 at his Rozelle, Australia home following a police investigation that found at least 4kg worth of methylamphetamine, also known as “ice” or “crystal meth”, in hidden candles.
After pleading guilty to the initial charges, Miller was dealt with several new charges this past May as police alleged he directed a criminal group between April 2020 and October 2021.
In January 2021, the District Court heard that Miller had a secret compartment in a Toyota Camry that he used to transport crystal meth, hidden in white candles.
Hidden cameras were then installed in the car by police, tracking Miller and Johnson on a 280 km trip from Sydney to Yass where they handed the drugs and the car over to Szabolics and another man who has already been sentenced.
Szabolics and the other man were then forced to dump the bag in the bush after being chased by police.
The court was told the bag had eight candles containing $2.2 million worth of crystal meth, seven times the threshold for a commercial quantity of drugs.
Judge Penny Hock said Miller “had a central role” in supplying the drugs “of significant value”.
Miller was then arrested at his Rozelle home near Sydney’s inner west in February of last year. Police seized nearly 800g of heroin and more than $72,000 in cash in a subsequent search, the court was told.
A forensic lab found that the crystal meth had been melted into the candle wax.
Miller was convicted and sentenced to five years and six months in jail. He will spend a minimum of three years behind bars—he’s been in jail since February 2021—and will be eligible for parole in February 2024.
When sentencing, Judge Hock said Miller had dealt with mental health issues since leaving home to train at the Australian Institute of Sport when he was 15.
“These problems have continued over subsequent years and have at least contributed to his substance abuse,” Judge Hock told the court.
Miller represented Australia at the 1996 Olympics and won an individual silver medal in the men’s 100 butterfly while adding a bronze medal as part of the Australian men’s 400 medley relay.
The Judge also said Miller was “devastated” when he didn’t win gold in Atlanta, and the court was told he frequently used cocaine and ecstasy on an “intermittent” basis throughout his swimming career, which concluded in 2004.
The court was also previously told that Miller blamed himself for the death of his ex-wife, former TV personality Charlotte Dawson, who committed suicide in 2014.
“The suicide of his ex-wife in 2014 placed an extra strain on him,” Hock said.
Miller has also had legal issues that include running an escort agency, multiple arrests, and the loss of millions of dollars as part of the infamous pink batts insulation scheme in Australia.
At the 1995 Pan Pacific Championships in Atlanta, where he won a pair of gold medals in the men’s butterfly events, Miller spent a night in jail for his involvement in a night club fight.
Szabolics received a prison term of three years and nine months, while Johnson was sentenced to an intensive corrections order of one year and 10 months.