The 50-year-old farmer from NSW was sentenced to a minimum 30 years' jail after pleading guilty to three charges relating to three separate operations, including conspiring to traffick the MDMA concealed in tomato tins in 2007.
He was also behind the trafficking in 2008 of 1.2 million ecstasy tablets and that same year, attempted to possess almost 100kg of pure cocaine, imported in a container full of coffee beans from Colombia.
His righthand man, 55-year-old Saverio Zirilli, also a farmer from NSW, pleaded guilty to the same three charges and was jailed for 26 years, with a minimum of 18 years, by Justice Betty King in the Victorian Supreme Court in February.
Details of the proceedings were suppressed from publication until now, because other men involved in the drug ring were facing a separate trial before Justice King.
"You Barbaro, were at the apex of that criminality - the very top of the tree in this country," Justice King said.
"Your purpose in attempting to possess the goods, was to ensure financial riches of a quite astronomical order.
"To conclude that this crime fell anywhere other than at the highest level of criminality, for offending of this nature, would be absurd and insulting."
In a bid to let his European suppliers know the 2007 shipment had been seized and that he wasn't ripping them off, Barbaro contacted a reporter at a Melbourne newspaper and told them details of the seizure, Justice King said.
Another four men involved - John Higgs, 65, of Point Cook, Salvatore Agresta, 44, of Kew, and two other men who cannot be named - were found guilty on Thursday of their involvement in what was, at the time, the world's biggest ecstasy seizure.
It still remains the largest amount of ecstasy ever seized in Australia.
After 13 days of deliberations following the trial that began in February, the jury found the four men guilty on one count each of conspiring to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported substance, namely MDMA.
The tablets were imported from Naples in Italy in a 6.1-metre container aboard a ship which arrived on the Melbourne docks on June 28, 2007.
The trial heard Customs officers examining the container found a wall of cans of 3kg tinned tomatoes - 15 rows high and 14 cans across - some containing rocks and gravel while others contained pills.
The net weight of the 15 million tablets was 4.4 tonnes - containing 1.4 tonnes of pure MDMA - estimated to be worth $122 million, the trial heard.
But upon its arrival, no one came forward to claim the container and listening device and telephone intercepts revealed the men became increasingly concerned about how they would obtain the drugs, knowing the drugs had been discovered by police.
24 May 2012