Man caught sending meth in facemasks sentenced to 6 months’ community detention

2022-05-25 13:48:55

By Ellen Thompson, Open Justice Reporter of NZ Herald

An Auckland man who hid meth in Covid-19 masks and sent them to the South Island during lockdown used his sister’s bank details to avoid detection.

Face masks

The former representative rugby player hide the meth in Covid-19 face masks.
Photo: 123rf

The man, a former representative rugby player who has name suppression, sent 10 parcels containing 22.5g of methamphetamine to buyers in Dunedin and Oamaru between August and October 2020.

He would use fake sender names to avoid detection and once the package arrived, consumers would pay him via bank transfer, occasionally using his sister’s bank account to avoid detection.

He was eventually caught by police with 52g of methamphetamine that he had purchased while travelling around the South Island.

The man’s lawyer, Emma Priest, told the court as he was sentenced for possessing and supplying drugs today that the offending was purely out of character for him.

“The man who stands before you is quite different to the man who was charged.”

Priest said the man had been a meth user since the age of 17. “He has an addiction and needs the appropriate help.

“He has demonstrated a complete U-turn and has just completed an 18-week programme for his addiction, the outcome that is needed is one of community detention.”

Crown prosecutor Richard Smith, who appeared via video link, said the man’s addiction played a huge part in his offending.

“He is making commendable strides and is due significant credit for his guilty plea.”

Judge Christopher John Field noted the harm that methamphetamine does to the community.

“But I am satisfied that the offending was largely driven by your addiction.”

Judge Field noted the man was making a genuine effort to rehabilitate himself.

“The addiction you continue to fight is not an overnight process.”

If warranted a maximum sentence of nine years’ imprisonment could have been applied but the judge instead sentenced him to six months of community detention and 12 months of intensive supervision.

He was ordered to not consume any drugs and alcohol.

This story first appeared in the New Zealand Herald.

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