Ex-Rabbitohs player John Touma has been handed a nine-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to drug trafficking.
Touma was charged with supplying, possessing and trafficking dangerous drugs in 2015 after an investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Brisbane's Supreme Court today heard that Touma was identified by the probe as the ringleader of a drug syndicate which supplied cocaine to 48 people, at least 11 of which were regular customers, in south-east Queensland.
Touma's network trafficked drugs over a seven-month period between May and December 2014.
The CCC investigation used phone taps to implicate several NRL players, both past and present, in the syndicate, including ex-NRL player Matt Seers, former Titans player David Taylor and Queensland Reds player Karmichael Hunt.
Although charges were dismissed against four of them, Taylor and Hunt both pleaded guilty to cocaine possession (in 2016 and 2015 respectively) and were both handed fines.
Seers also pleaded guilty to his part in the syndicate and was given a four-year jail sentence for trafficking cocaine, which will be suspended after serving 12 months.
Prosecutor Mark Whitbread told the court that Seers had been involved in Touma's network for four-and-a-half months and that he had made several deliveries for him.
"He made six trips to Sydney on behalf of Mr Touma," he said.
Two other associates, Adam Surplice and Peter Kassiotes, have also pleaded guilty for their involvement in the drug ring and will be sentenced today.