Jury told how to interpret drug code

JIMMY ELLINGHAM
Last updated 14:35 13/04/2013

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The lawyer representing Woodville's alleged methamphetamine queen has questioned how much can be read into communication apparently written in drugs lingo.

He also implied that rather than dealing drugs, his client was instead a "crack whore".

Experienced police detective Grant Ferguson spent hours educating Jolene Rose's trial jury about the language of the drugs world.

Dealers and their clients never discuss drugs directly, instead using code words, he said.

In the High Court at Palmerston North yesterday, defence lawyer Paul Knowsley asked Mr Ferguson about that.

" . . . There are some items or code words, for example, quarter pounder or quarter pack of chicken is commonly used, and wheels and tyres," Mr Ferguson said.

"I could pluck any item out of the air and that could become a code word for the two people."

Mr Ferguson agreed that sometimes what was written down might not be as it seemed.

He was stumped, however, when Mr Knowsley asked him if he had ever heard of cannabis or marijuana referred to as "13" - because M is the 13th letter of the alphabet.

Mr Ferguson said he was unfamiliar with that code name.

Rose, 36, faces one charge each of supplying methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine for supply and possessing cannabis for supply.

She also faces 14 charges of unlawfully possessing firearms, two of unlawfully possessing a restricted weapon - stun guns - and four of unlawfully possessing ammunition.

She was jointly charged with her lover Sean Christiaan Murray, 43, after police raided their Hope St property on March 20 last year.

They found $764,830 cash, 4 grams of methamphetamine, 16 weapons, some loaded, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

The Crown says Rose was involved in drug dealing, which she denies.

Mr Knowsley implied yesterday that Rose was addicted to drugs and was in a relationship with someone who could make them available. The expression "crack whore" was often used to describe the girlfriend of a dealer who would get her fix in return for sexual favours.

The trial continues.

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- Manawatu Standard

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