Teen charged over internet drugs deal

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 19:03 24/04/2013

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A Palmerston North man caught allegedly importing nearly $28,000 worth of ecstasy off the internet is due to appear in court tomorrow.

The 19-year-old student received a package, sent from Germany, which contained more than 500 tablets of the MDMA, a Class B controlled drug also known as ecstasy.

Another parcel addressed to the man, and containing a similar amount of ecstasy tablets, was intercepted by Customs at the International Mail Centre in Auckland yesterday.

The drugs’ estimated street value is between $14,000 and $28,000.

Three smaller parcels containing cocaine, LSD, and ecstasy were also previously intercepted.

Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Sheridan, officer in charge of Palmerston North CIB, said the man was apprehended today and an ongoing investigation may lead to further charges.

"Police and Customs officers executed a search warrant at the man’s residential address this afternoon and we believe that he has been importing these drugs for the purpose of supply.’’

Customs acting group manager of investigations and response, Shane Panettiere, said more and more packages containing small amounts of illicit drugs linked to illegal overseas-based trading websites were cropping up.

‘‘It serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they can buy illegal drugs online and get away with it.

‘‘Customs officers are well aware of what to look for and will intercept illicit goods being mailed to New Zealand,’’ he said.

‘‘Buying online doesn’t mean that you are exempt from the law, offenders will be apprehended and prosecuted.’’

The man will appear in the Palmerston North District Court tomorrow charged with importing Class A and B controlled drugs.

The maximum sentence for importing a Class A drug is life imprisonment.

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- Fairfax Media

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