One of the major players in supplying Wellington and Wairarapa methamphetamine has been jailed for 15 years.
Paul Peter Mawana Rodgers, also known as Porky Rimene, 40, was captain of the Wellington chapter of the Nomads gang and had a private sideline dealing drugs.
In the High Court at Wellington today Justice Stephen Kos said Rodgers had received at least $800,000 from unknown sources between January 2009 and February 2011, and that was likely to be a conservative estimate of what he made from drug dealing.
Justice Kos said that from July 2009 to February 2011 Rodgers was also receiving a welfare benefit.
Rodgers pleaded guilty but disputed the scale of his dealing. Justice Kos accepted Rodgers had received at least 1.6kg of methamphetamine at least 60 per cent pure which he then "cut" and sold at the usual un-cut rate of about $100 for 0.1g.
The judge noted the irony that Rodgers cheating his customers by selling below-strength drugs counted in his favour as he was sentenced on the basis of the lower un-cut weight rather than when it was doubled to more than 3.3 kg by cutting.
However Justice Kos said he also took into account that "cutting" meant more people were supplied and were in debt to Rodgers who enforced payment by violence and taking their belongings in lieu of cash.
The court heard Rodgers liked to spend his money on classic American V8 cars and customised motorbikes.
Rodgers pleaded guilty to supplying, offering, and conspiring to supply methamphetamine, taking part in an organised criminal group, conspiring to supply cannabis, conspiring to obstruct the course of justice, and money laundering.
He must serve at least seven years six months' jail of his 15 year sentence before he can be considered for parole.
Rodgers had tried to show he had at times used quite large quantities himself so had less available to sell, but Justice Kos disbelieved evidence about the scale of Rodgers' personal use.
Rodgers had also tried to prove more than 200g of methamphetamine was lost when a buried canister was moved by a bulldozer working on public land in Newtown. The judge preferred the evidence of one of Rodgers' co-offenders who said the drug had been found after an anxious search.
Although Rodgers had used methamphetamine he virtually gave up in a bid to control his violence against his partner and so he could keep his wits about him as his drug business grew.
Cognitive difficulties and memory loss were said to be hangovers from his drug-taking days.
Rodgers has more than 120 previous convictions but most were for violence and driving offences, with only two convictions for drugs.
- The Dominion Post