Drug 'catcher' jailed

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 11:04 17/06/2013

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The brother of a Tauranga drug kingpin has been sentenced to jail for his part in importing the ingredients to make methamphetamine.

Brian Derrick Read, 44, was the "catcher" for 10 parcels of pseudoephedrine, all disguised as cosmetic cream, which were used to make the drug "P".

The total haul, once cooked, would have had a street value of almost $1 million, the High Court in Auckland heard today.

Read received the parcels from Thailand, then passed them on to his brother Gary Read.

Gary Read, the drug ring's boss, then organised for the raw materials to be made into meth and sold, the court was told. He pleaded guilty to more than 70 charges as part of an estimated $17 million illegal drug importing-and-supply enterprise earlier this year and will be sentenced in August.

In sentencing today, the court heard that Brian Read "must have known" what was in the parcels and therefore was culpable.

He had an extensive criminal history for violence and drugs, and part of his offending was committed while on home detention, prosecutor Richard Jensen said.

In his client's defence, Matt Dixon said Gary Read was a "strong and overbearing character" who pushed people into helping him. He said his client was committed to rehabilitation.

In sentencing, Justice Kit Toogood acknowledged Read had an 11-year-old son to look after but said he needed to be deterred from reoffending.

Read was sentenced to three years, four months in jail, to be served cumulatively on top of his current term for kidnapping.

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