Shanese Koullias' defence lawyer told Nowra District Court he could not say how much she earned from Cody Ward as a member of his Callala Bay-based dark web drug syndicate.
Solicitor for the defence Peter Kondich said Shanese worked for Ward in part to supply her own drug habit and in part for financial gain. He suggested her illegal earnings were not great.
"Shanese Koullias is not one of those people driving around in a pink Lambourghini," he said.
However, Judge Robyn Tupman expressed frustration that Shanese had made no admissions about the amount she had earnt.
She was also critical of Mr Kondich's suggestions that Koullias' decision-making was affected by her youth and relationship with an ex-boyfriend.
"Please don't underestimate the ability of women to make their own decisions in life," Judge Tupman said.
"She decided to be a party girl. She wasn't a baby. She decided to take drugs, and when her relationship broke down she overdid the drug use.
"Don't paint her like a person who can't make her own decision, because you've picked the wrong person to make that suggestion to."
The facts tendered to the court show Ward paid for Shanese's rent at a Callala Bay property, in addition to giving her unlimited access to drugs for personal use.
She was also paid an unknown amount of money for her participation, and in turn paid her sister, Patricia Koullias, on several occasions for her assistance packaging and posting drugs.
Shanese Koullias was arrested with her sister Patricia Koullias and associate Cody Ward in 2019 over their involvement in a $17 million drug ring masterminded by Ward and run from Callala Bay.
READ MORE: Trio plead guilty to variety of drug charges
On August 4 in Nowra Local Court she pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, dealing with the proceeds of crime and knowingly directing a criminal group.
Other charges of supplying prohibited drugs will also be taken into account in her sentencing.
Koullias had no charges or convictions for any criminal activity prior to her arrest, and the prosecution lawyer said there was "scant evidence" of how she became involved in the syndicate.
It is understood the three grew up together in Callala Bay, and that as an adult Koullias connected with Cody Ward in his role as a drug dealer.
At her sentencing hearing at Nowra District Court on October 23, Koullias appeared by audio visual link. She did not speak.
Before she became involved in the syndicate, Koullias worked as a nurse. Mr Kondich said she had lost her job as a nurse in 2018 due to her spiralling drug addiction.
"She was a valuable member of the community, and it gave her a great deal of satisfaction in terms of helping others," Mr Kondich said.
"Unfortunately, due to her offending, that door is now closed to her. Upon release she will work with her father and be gainfully employed that way."
Mr Kondich said after her relationship with her boyfriend broke down, Koullias experienced a major depressive episode and to cope she smoked up to 20 cones of marijuana a day, used Xanax, carried a drink bottle that contained diluted diazepam powder during the day and took three to four Valium tablets each night.
He argued her judgment was affected by her drug use and the work she did packaging and posting drugs "didn't require a high level of functioning".
However, the lawyer for the prosecution argued that to correctly weigh, package and promptly distribute orders as they came in without making any errors did require a degree of higher level thought.
He described the organisation as "highly sophisticated and throroughly planned" and decribed Koullias as a "trusted and needed member".
"Her role was less than that of Cody Ward, but significantly greater than that of Patricia Koullias," he said.
"There is evidence she had a degree of autonomy withing the syndicate, [such as] her recruitment and direction of Patricia Koullias.
"There is no evidence she was coerced."
Patricia Koullias had her sentencing hearing on October 21. Cody Ward is due to have his sentencing hearing in Nowra District Court on Tuesday, October 27.
Police caught them after an extensive nine-month surveillance operation, which included listening devices.
The trio will be sentenced at the Downing Centre on November 27.