Drugs teen 'had gun'

Could lose name suppression today

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 07:36 26/04/2013

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A Palmerston North student accused of importing cocaine, ecstasy and LSD into New Zealand also allegedly possessed a ''pump action shotgun'' illegally.

The teenager could today lose his name suppression when he returns to court to face charges laid after enforcement agencies swooped on his alleged drugs den.

The 19-year-old man appeared in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, where duty lawyer Richard Bedford sought a temporary name suppression order, which the Manawatu Standard opposed.

Justice of the Peace Trieste Te Awe Awe said she thought it appropriate for a district court judge to consider the matter further today - when the man will again appear - and granted the interim order.

The man spent last night in the cells as no bail application was made yesterday.

Court documents list him as facing seven charges, none of which he has pleaded to yet.

He is accused of importing cocaine on November 13, LSD on November 14, and ecstasy on December 14, April 16 and April 18.

The man is also accused of possessing LSD and a gun for an unlawful purpose. Cocaine and LSD are Class A drugs and the maximum sentence for importing these is life imprisonment.

Mr Bedford said the man already had a lawyer in mind to represent him.

''His bail is opposed. It appears police have a strong case against him, which will count against bail.

''But, on the other side of the coin, he does have youth and lack of previous convictions on his side.

''I know police are looking to make inquiries and I understand further charges may be laid,'' Mr Bedford said. 

A statement from police says the drugs the man is accused of ordering online have a ''street value'' of between $14,000 and $28,000.

One package he was allegedly sent contained about 560 ecstasy tablets.

On Tuesday Customs intercepted a parcel addressed to the man and containing another 570 ecstasy tablets.

Three smaller parcels containing cocaine, LSD and ecstasy were previously intercepted, the police statement says.

Police and customs officials raided the man's house on Wednesday, in the belief he was dealing the imported drugs.

Customs investigations and response acting manager Shane Panettiere said border officials were finding growing numbers of packages containing illegal drugs bought from overseas websites.

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- Manawatu Standard

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