Nelson mother jailed for dealing methamphetamine for Head Hunters gang
The sudden death of a child sent a Nelson mother's life spiralling out of control as she turned to methamphetamine to numb her grief and became a drug dealer for the Head Hunters gang.
Suman Eve Kumar, 31, had no criminal history before seeking "solace" in methamphetamine, also known as P, following the death of her youngest child in 2011 and the breakdown of a relationship.
Kumar, in her late 20s at the time, became heavily dependent on the class A drug and later fell in with the Head Hunters gang, fronting a lucrative commercial drug dealing operation with at least four employees, supplying methamphetamine and LSD in Nelson Bays.
On Tuesday, Kumar appeared in the Nelson District Court via audio-visual link for sentencing on seven drugs charges, six of which carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Kumar had pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine for supply, two counts of supplying and two counts of offering to supply methamphetamine, conspiring to deal methamphetamine and supplying LSD.
Judge Tony Zohrab sentenced her to three years and nine months' imprisonment, giving her discounts for a guilty plea and the personal circumstances that led to her offending.
The court heard that Kumar started using methamphetamine after her child died from sudden infant death syndrome.
"She'd been doing really well right up to that tragic point when her young baby had died and things really went spiralling down after that," defence lawyer Tony Bamford said.
Kumar was attracted to the opportunity of making money from methamphetamine and "effortlessly" slipped into drug dealing, Crown prosecutor Jackson Webber said.
She came to the attention of police in December, 2014.
Text messages captured from two of her mobile phones revealed her involvement in buying, selling and offering to sell methamphetamine.
In a series of text messages to an unknown number in February 2015, Kumar said she wanted to save up money to buy enough methamphetamine to "sink a ship".
The person she was messaging said "we're really getting into serious shit now".
Kumar replied: "Yes but that's because we r the best at this. U and i [sic]."
Police said the Head Hunters gang in Wellington was one of Kumar's suppliers.
She employed at least four people to help with selling methamphetamine in Nelson Bays and paid them either in cash or discounted drugs. She used multiple bank accounts to store money and repay suppliers.
The Crown could not calculate how much methamphetamine Kumar had bought, sold, or conspired to buy and sell, but based on the text messages, an estimated total of at least $337,000-worth was reached.
In another set of text messages, Kumar said members of the Head Hunters were talking about her at "church", a compulsory gang meeting in Wellington.
"They saying we r best in Nelson," the message said. "They heard good things." She said she felt "quite honoured" to be talked about in such a way at the gang meeting.
Webber said the text messages showed Kumar's offending amounted to "really enthusiastic, almost cheerful commercial drug dealing".
"It's not a desperate addict getting three points and selling two to fund her own use of it," he said. "It's well beyond that. It's really evidence of an obvious intent to run a significant and profitable methamphetamine dealing business."
Bamford said Kumar had shown "genuine remorse" for her offending which happened as a result of "quite unusual and exceptional circumstances".
Judge Zohrab said Kumar and her associates had "undoubtedly caused significant harm within the Nelson Bays community".
"It wasn't a small scale operation by any stretch of the imagination," he said.
"The impression one gains is that you were revelling in your role and you engaged in the whole process in enthusiastic fashion."
He gave an order for the destruction of the drugs and related utensils.