Texts reveal panic over alleged drug deal
The Auckland father of two daughters he allegedly used as methamphetamine drug mules became panicked when he was unable to reach them, a New Plymouth District Court jury has heard.
There was good reason he could not get a reply from their phones. The sisters had been arrested in Fitzroy by armed police.
The Crown alleges Oscar Chand, 42, was the mastermind of the $40,000 deal.
Oscar Chand, his daughter Maxien Chand, 23, and her partner Halen Ryder, 27, have denied supplying the class A controlled drug methamphetamine to a known drug dealer, Tommy White, at his Fitzroy home in New Plymouth on August 24, 2012.
White has already pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine for supply the same day.
Maxien Chand and Ryder, along with Daniel Pue, 21, are also charged with illegal possession of a loaded revolver found in Pue's Jaguar after an armed offenders squad arrest in a roadblock outside the Ugly Duck. All three have pleaded not guilty to the firearms charge.
A sister of Maxien Chand, Jessica Chand, who was also in the car and initially arrested, is not involved in the trial. She is Pue's partner.
Crown prosecutor Justin Marinovich told the jury that New Plymouth police, who had bugged White's cellphone and landline, took action on August 23 and 24 when it was realised a possible drug deal was going down after Oscar and Maxien Chand were both in contact with White.
Earlier this week, the series of cellphone texts between the three were read to the jury by officer-in-charge, Detective Susan Ashton.
On August 23 Maxien White texted White asking: "How many?" White replies: "3 b cool."
White texts Oscar Chand: "All good ma brutha. Are you comin down for some karaoke. U welcome to stay at my pad."
Oscar Chand replies: "Just need to know the number of copies ur after and when is good day for karaoke."
White: "I'm singing now ma bro, so tonite be cool, 3 copies at least of those songs b cool ma bro."
Oscar Chand: "Sounds good my bro. See you soon."
Oscar Chand then tells White he is on a real tight schedule and has "branched off".
"Trust ur end is in order and no delays, please confirm it as stopover will be 15mins," Chand says.
At 5.04am on August 24 Oscar texts his daughter Maxien saying she is not to tell White how close they are to his home.
"Just don't give no warning just in case they up to no good."
In the last text he gets from his daughter she tells her father they are three minutes away from the house.
Police watching White's house see two people go in and com out and the Jaguar, parked up the road, leave at speed. The information is relayed to the AOS and at 7am the team strikes in Fitzroy, blocks in the Jaguar and the four occupants are arrested at gunpoint.
At 7.09am Oscar Chand texts his daughter Maxien Chand saying: "whr u guys now".
He asks the same question nine times until 7.56am, receiving no reply.
At 8.06am Oscar Chand texts White but by this time White had also been arrested by the AOS at gunpoint at his Fitzroy Rd home.
"How things my bro hope everything went well." Oscar Chand texts White. There is no reply.
8.49: Oscar Chand's panicky text to his daughter reads: "Whr the hell r u man; answer me."
At 12.40 Oscar Chand again texts White asking if his kids are there.
At 12.58 he again tries his daughter: "Whr r u guys man. R u guys ok. Pls text bak."
All four defence counsel elected not to call evidence on behalf of their clients.
Yesterday afternoon Judge Allan Roberts released the jurors to reconvene at 9.30am today when the lawyers will make their closing addresses, and the judge will sum up, after which the jury is expected to consider the verdicts.
Taranaki Daily News