Everyday Average Couple Accused Of Running Massive Drug Ring | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Everyday Average Couple Accused Of Running Massive Drug Ring

Part of a husband and wife team, Sarah Hannan controlled the finances of an extensive drug operation while on paid maternity leave.


Sarah and Ben Hannan. Photo via Courier Mail

By McCarton Ackerman


| Share

A young mother from Australia has been accused of using her paid maternity leave to help her husband run a multi-million dollar drug empire. Sarah Hannan, 27, allegedly controlled the finances of the marijuana business that she ran with her husband Ben, which was so successful that they bought a $1.1 million mansion on the Gold Coast to house their underground cannabis plantations.

Police claimed that while Ben handled the growing of hydroponic crops in hidden bunkers, Sarah funneled $1 million into 17 accounts over two years, using advice from a local accounting firm that assumed they were running a legitimate business. In addition to the waterfront mansion, they used the money from their drug dealing to buy investment properties worth $2.2 million and several luxury cars.

Transcripts from wiretapped phone conversations indicated that Sarah spoke with Ben’s brother, Scott, about needing to wait for drug cash to arrive so that she could pay a $5,000 bill. The phone taps also revealed the Hannan brothers arguing over the use of pesticides on marijuana crops and Scott’s plans to get a roommate. “It doesn’t bother me as long as the guy never, ever, ever gets a whiff of what you do for work,” said Ben. “It’s way too close.”

Unfortunately for Sarah, she became the first woman to be charged under Australia’s new Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act, which would give her an extra 15 years in prison if convicted on charges of drug trafficking and supply. Ben faces an additional 25 years in jail under the new act as the alleged leader of a criminal organization. All of their assets and properties have also been frozen as alleged criminal proceeds.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Suboxone: Trading One Prison Cell for Another

Suboxone seemed like a get-out-of-jail-free card, the answer to my opiate addiction. Instead, I had a new ten-year addiction, complete with thinning hair and lost motivation.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv