A prison associate of wanted Morrinsville shooting suspect Rollie Heke has labelled the fugitive as “the definition of a gangster”.
The former inmate, who served a few years in the same prison unit as Heke, said the fugitive has always wanted to be the “biggest and baddest” criminal and was well-known among fellow convicts.
“To put it bluntly, Rollie is the definition of a gangster. In jail he wanted to make a name for himself and he bloody well did that.”
He said Heke was a long-serving member of the Auckland Nomads and was seen as one of the gang’s “head guys” or “captains”.
“Any Nomad who came into our unit, he would go over and smash them up to make sure they didn’t back down.
“After that he would train them and give them everything they needed; money, food, you name it, he would give it to them and train them to become better.”
He said Heke was “pretty on to it”, a “smart character” and “well-educated”.
“He is a machine. In the mornings he would be up by 6am and outside training, he would have breakfast and go off and do courses, and then at lunchtime he would train again.
“He has lost the plot because of the gear he is smoking, but sometimes he can be a bloody good dude, and then sometimes he can be a complete f.”
He said Heke was well connected both inside and outside of prison, and was involved in the importation and supply of methamphetamine, had a large synthetic cannabis trade within three prisons, and was importing M4A1 semi-automatic rifles.
“The whole time I have known him he portrayed himself as a gangster and he wants to be the biggest and baddest.
“From what I have seen and what I know, he pretty much is. There are only a couple of other guys who can go toe to toe with him and he is a bloody good fighter.”
He believes Heke would not surrender, despite pleas from his family.
“Rollie will not give up, as much as you bring his mother into it, he will not care and he is not going to give up. He is going to go out fighting.
“He won’t leave the country or run from the fight, he will stick around and go out blazing.”
Yesterday Heke’s father made a plea for him to peacefully hand himself in.
“No one has been hurt, it’s not that bad yet. You have time to do the right thing,” he said.
“If you want someone from the whanau to come and get you just phone one of us. You have a big whanau out here that cares for you. You are well loved by all of us.”
The prison associate said Heke did not trust many people and was more trusting of his female friends than anyone else.
“The majority of his stuff will be at girls’ houses. He won’t leave it with other Nomads or male friends as he trusts his female friends more than anyone.”
He believes Heke is on the run with his girlfriend, who also has a warrant to arrest for breaching her community detention conditions.
Police are seeking 43-year-old Irene Scanlon who they believe may be assisting Heke to evade police.
Scanlon is an ex-partner of the fugitive. She is described as about 162cm tall and of medium build. She has a tattoo of a swastika on her left thumb and a flower on her left wrist and forearm. She usually has dyed blonde hair, police said. NZME