P importer loses 25-year sentence challenge

Last updated 05:00 24/12/2012

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A Chinese man jailed for 25 years for importing more than 90 kilograms of methamphetamine into Auckland has lost a final attempt at challenging his sentence and conviction.

In 2008 Guo Wei Deng was sentenced to 17 years jail with a minimum non parole period of eight years six months for his part in a drug syndicate.

Police said the amount of the Class A drug the group imported - hidden in boxes inside paint tins - was enough to give every Aucklander a hit. 

Deng unsuccessfully appealed against his conviction and sentence in September 2009.

The Solicitor General then asked the Court of Appeal to reconsider his punishment and it was increased to 25 years with a minimum non parole period of 10 years.

Deng then sought a time extension to appeal to the Supreme Court but failed to do so within a set time limit.

He then sought a recall of his original appeal claiming interpretation issues at trial and the failure of his council to adduce certain evidence warranted the matter to be re-heard. 

A recently released Court of Appeal decision details how Deng was caught in May 2006 after Customs intercepted two containers sent from China.

Inside the containers officers found 96kg of methamphetamine hidden in blocks of resin hidden in the bottom of paint cans.

The second shipment contained more than 150kg of pseudoephedrine granules - a base ingredient used to make P - hidden in bags of cement plaster.

A police-controlled delivery saw the methamphetamine delivered to a house in Kohimarama Rd where Deng and another man were eventually caught red-handed with the drugs.

Police also found loaded weapons, $50,000 in cash, scales, money counting machines and a number of cell phones.

Deng had returned to New Zealand the day before. 

The crown case at trial was that Deng arrived in New Zealand specifically to collect the drugs.

The crown also relied on evidence relating to three cell phones that police found in Deng's possession when they arrived at the house.

Police and customs also identified previous shipments so similar that there could be no reasonable doubt they also contained methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine. 

Deng and two other people were convicted on charges relating to four earlier shipments as well as the two containers intercepted by customs.

The Court of Appeal found there had been no miscarriage of justice, the jury were entitled to the decision they made, and rejected Deng's appeal.

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- Auckland Now

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