Jailed for supplying $180K of meth

Two men involved in a drug ring that police say supplied more than $180,000 of methamphetamine to people in Marlborough have been sent to jail.

Kahurangi Maru, 22, and Benjamin Horace Stephen Way, 28, were two of three men involved in a drug-dealing ring that sourced methamphetamine from Auckland and distributed it to people in Marlborough. In Blenheim District Court yesterday, Judge John Walker sentenced Maru to a total of 5 years' jail and Way to a total of 4 years' jail.

Maru had admitted 22 charges of supplying methamphetamine, two charges of carrying a firearm, and one charge of conspiringto deal. Way had admitted two charges of supplying meth, two charges of dealing cannabis, possessing a needle, and growing and possessing cannabis plants.

Police said between 126 and 168 grams of methamphetamine was bought from a source in Auckland, costing around $49,000, with a street value of $180,000.

Judge Walker said: "The three of you decided to enter a partnership to supply meth in Marlborough in a drug-dealing ring. You sourced the drug in Auckland, transported it to Marlborough, and in a group, packaged it into smaller quantities to sell it.

"You were prepared to distribute a drug in this community, which brings dependency and misery to others. It gives rise to violent crime associated with meth use and it creates victims in the community when people resort to crime to fund their addiction."

Lawyer Mike Hardy-Jones said Maru admitted being part of the organised criminal group, but had a lower level of involvement than the others. It was also unclear how much meth Maru was supplying, he said.

From the text messages, "it was only 10-20 grams".

Judge Walker said Maru was involved from the beginning and supplied the initial cash needed to get the operation off the ground.

Lawyer Rob Harrison said Way had been using cannabis since he was 12. He had been "sucked into a vortex of offending way beyond his understanding of the significance" of the crime.

His addiction to cannabis resulted in him helping the third member of the drug ring, Hayden Benner, mainly by driving him around. He did not profit in any way, but used his access to fund his own habit, Mr Harrison said.

The Marlborough Express