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Unlicensed legal high seller jailed

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 09:32 12/08/2014

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A Hamilton man jailed last year for selling psychoactive substances has been sent to prison again for repeat offending.

Michael John Mason, 36, was found guilty by Judge Glen Marshall in the Hamilton District Court last week of selling an approved product without a licence on Victoria St on April 1.

When arrested, Mason was found with 45 2-gram packets of the substance.

He had earlier admitted a charge of possessing the prescription drug Rubifen the same night.

Mason's lawyer Mike Talbot told the judge his client wasn't selling pyschoactive substances.

Police had found $56.20 cash on him, which proved Mason hadn't been selling the product on the night.

Giving evidence in the trial, Constable Scott Peel said he asked Mason on the night why he had so many bags of psychoactive substances, and he replied that he was a heavy smoker of it and smoked it every day.

But it was CCTV footage which proved Mason's undoing.

Marshall found that there were two specific clips - one which showed a woman hand over something and receive an item from Mason in return. The second also involved an exchange of an item with Mason.

After being found guilty, Mason admitted a second charge of selling psychoactive substances without a licence on April 26. On that occasion he was found with $8,247.80.

Mason was convicted and sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

It's not the first time Mason has been caught selling psychoactive substances.

Mason was jailed in October last year after admitting three charges under psychoactive substances legislation.

In that offending, the sickness beneficiary admitted sending out "text bombs" to tell people where he would be selling the drugs.

In early October police caught him in Garden Place with 65 packets of synthetic cannabis and $3000 cash, the court was told. He was bailed but did the same thing on October 11.

Police watched him on Pembroke St selling synthetic cannabis. When arrested, Mason had 60 bags of synthetic cannabis, two cellphones and about $450 in cash.

belinda.feek@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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