Sam Fisher looks on after St Kilda's clash against Greater Western Sydney in round one, 2015. Picture: AFL Photos

FORMER St Kilda player Sam Fisher has cried and waved to his loved ones as he was taken to prison for at least three years after admitting to drug trafficking.

The 41-year-old ex Saints defender was handed a maximum five-year and four-month prison term on Thursday morning after pleading guilty to six drug offences.

The charges include trafficking a commercial quantity of methamphetamine, cocaine and 1,4-Butanediol, and three counts of drug possession.

Fisher was arrested by police in May 2022 for trafficking 996g of methamphetamine and 82g of cocaine from Melbourne to Western Australia.

Sam Fisher is seen during St Kilda's official team photo day on February 9, 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

He had picked up a rangehood from Harvey Norman in Moorabbin and then delivered it to a Melbourne patisserie owned by his co-accused Julien Morvan's father, with the drugs inside.

Police intercepted the package on April 20, and found two hidden parcels containing the drugs inside the rangehood.

Fisher spent 48 days in prison after he was arrested and was then bailed to a rehabilitation centre, where he spent 105 days.

Judge Gerard Mullaly said Fisher's drug use had spiralled out of control after the former All-Australian player retired from football in 2016 and struggled to to find consistent employment.

Sam Fisher in action during St Kilda's clash against Collingwood in round 21, 2011. Picture: AFL Photos

"You acknowledge now you were fiercely addicted and consuming multiple drugs in an uncontrollable fashion," Judge Mullaly said.

"You began to move in circles with others involving drugs.

"Your chaotic lifestyle came to an abrupt end when you were arrested."

After retirement, Fisher tried to continue to play football in a lower league and then as an assistant coach, but he suffered two serious injuries.

Sam Fisher after a match against Carlton in 2016. Picture: AFL Photos

He then worked in marketing and property development, but after COVID-19 hit he suffered financial hardship when a project in Frankston was derailed.

The judge said there were "powerful reasons" to hand Fisher a sentence below the standard due to the lesser role he played in the plot, his significant reform and deep remorse.

"You are a long way from the daily drug taker of 2022," Judge Mullaly said.

He said Fisher had made significant steps since rehabilitation and was now mentoring other men "to demonstrate there can be a way out of addiction".

Sam Fisher after his retirement from the AFL in 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

He said Fisher had received "considerable support" for his rehabilitation from St Kilda and the AFL Players Association.

The 41-year-old will spend at least three years behind bars before he is eligible for parole.

He has already served 48 days of that sentence.

Wearing a grey suit, Fisher cried and waved to his parents and partner as he was led out of the court room by custody officers.