NRL Rd 10 - Eels v Cowboys
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 19: Junior Paulo of the Eels is tackled during the round 10 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the North Queensland Cowboys at Parramatta Stadium May 19, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Former Parramatta prop Aukuso Junior Paulo has been sentenced to 17 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 11 years and 4 months for a million-dollar drug deal gone wrong in 2017.

The 36-year old attended Downing Centre District Court on Monday and was convicted of several crimes, including possession of guns, proceeds of crime and having a commercial supply of drugs.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the court heard that Paulo and his co-offender were arrested by an undercover police officer at Centennial Park in December 2017, who was there to arrange a purchase of 900 kg of cocaine worth $180 million from someone called “Peking Duck”

Judge Anthony Townsend believed Paulo and his co-offender both had smaller roles than ‘Peking Duck’ but still held responsibility for their crimes.

“In the present case, the amount of drugs to be received was very significant and was for financial gain,” he said.

“Each of the offenders played a central role in arranging to take receipt of the drug.”

He will be eligible for parole in 2029

Paulo played 17 games for Parramatta in 2007 and 2008 and also previously represented the United States internationally.