Student accused of drug importing freed on bail

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 09:51 27/04/2013

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The identity of the Palmerston North university student accused of importing ecstasy, cocaine and LSD into New Zealand can now be revealed.

Benajamen Patrick Belmont, 19, has lost his temporary name suppression and his lawyer Christopher Wilkinson-Smith said he "can't advance" an argument for it to continue.

After spending two nights in the cells, Belmont was released on bail when he appeared in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday.

He must live with his parents in Feilding and stay there between 7pm and 7am, when he must answer the door if police come knocking.

Belmont is also banned from possessing non-prescribed drugs, using a cellphone or the internet.

Legislation prohibits the publication of discussion at a bail hearing so Mr Wilkinson-Smith's comments to the court cannot be reported.

Court documents list Belmont 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.

Belmont is also charged with 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.

Police and customs officials raided Belmont's flat on Wednesday in the belief Belmont was dealing the imported drugs.

Police have said the drugs Belmont 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, while on Tuesday Customs intercepted a parcel addressed to Belmont that allegedly contained 570 ecstasy tablets.

Three smaller parcels containing cocaine, LSD and ecstasy were previously intercepted, a police statement says. Belmont will be back in court next month.

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- Manawatu Standard

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