A man believed to have been the leader of a drug importation ring has been handed a prison term of 18 years and six months.
Rodney Martel, 40, was one of four people sentenced in the High Court at Auckland yesterday over the importation of multiple consignments of methamphetamine, GBL, MDMA and cocaine.
Rachel Vincent, 34, was jailed for 14 years and eight months, and Regardht Roux, 32, for 11 years and six months.
Anthony Dawson, 29, was sentenced to three years in prison.
A fifth person, James Bell, 44, was given a jail term of six years and 10 months when he appeared last Wednesday.
Customs investigations manager Bruce Berry says an investigation named Operation Spar linked 37 seizures.
In total, they involved 5.6kg of meth, 7.7 litres of GBL, 1986 MDMA pills and 31g of cocaine.
The consignments were sent by mail and airfreighted between June 2015 and April 2016.
Six packages were sent to Bell’s Auckland work address, and 31 packages were destined for different Christchurch addresses.
Mr Berry says all five offenders were drug users and “opportunists who chose to be greedy and import drugs to distribute through their networks”.
He says good intelligence and investigative work connected the consignments and identified those involved.
“This wasn’t a sophisticated syndicate,” he said.
“They may have tried different types of concealment and tricks such as delivering to unsuspecting addresses, or using phone apps to discuss drug matters but these methods are known to Customs.” NZN