No proof of drug deal - defence
Police have no proof that an Auckland family sold methamphetamine to a New Plymouth man last year, lawyers have told a New Plymouth jury.
While there was evidence that cannabis was bought from New Plymouth drug dealer Tommy White, the $40,000 cash found in a Guess handbag in the Jaguar car stopped by the armed offenders squad was intended for the girls' mother, Ron Mansfield, lawyer for Oscar Chand, said during his closing address yesterday.
Each lawyer for the four accused attacked the Crown's case that the drug-dealing mastermind Chand, 42, of Auckland, his daughter Maxien Chand, 23, and her partner Halen Ryder, 27, supplied methamphetamine to White at his Fitzroy home in New Plymouth on August 24.
Maxien Chand and Ryder, along with Daniel Pue, 21, are also charged with illegal possession of a loaded revolver found in Pue's Jaguar the same day.
None had a firearms licence.
All four have pleaded not guilty to the respective charges.
Maxien Chand, Ryder and Pue were arrested at an AOS roadblock outside the Ugly Duck pub at 7am on August 24.
The arrests followed electronic surveillance of White's phones for the previous few months. The AOS immediately headed to White's home where he was also arrested.
White has since been convicted of possessing methamphetamine for supply.
Oscar Chand was arrested on the same charge in Auckland in September.
Crown prosecutor Justin Marinovich told the jury that Oscar Chand had got his eight-month-pregnant daughter Maxien to complete the methamphetamine deal he had arranged with White for the early hours of August 24.
She and her partner Ryder had gone into White's house and effected the deal, leaving with $40,000 in notes from White in Pue's Jaguar. Pue, in the front passenger seat, had a loaded pistol under it.
"Commonsense will tell you what happened in the early hours of August 24, 2012," Mr Marinovich said.
Coloured rubber bands around the money provided the link to White because they were the same as those found in drawers in his bedroom.
The jurors should look at the text messages and not get lost in red herrings, Mr Marinovich said.
Mr Mansfield said police found less than an ounce of methamphetamine dropped by the arrested White, both in the gutter and in his home - not the 3 ounces they believed was mentioned in text messages.
The jurors must be satisfied that there was a completed transaction.
There was no evidence that the methamphetamine found was brought to White's house by anyone, Mr Mansfield said.
The $40,000 did not relate to the amount that was found, he said.
While every note of the $40,000 was checked for fingerprints, none was found. Nor were fingerprints or DNA found on the 25.9g of methamphetamine dropped in the gutter by White.
"The meth cannot be linked to anyone else but Tommy White."
The coloured rubber bands were a tenuous link, he said. They were as "common as muck" and could be bought anywhere in New Zealand.
However, the cannabis found in a jacket in the Jaguar might have come from White, who was a known dealer, Mr Mansfield conceded.
The $40,000 cash was coming from Auckland to New Plymouth for another member of the family - the girl's mother who was living nearby, he said.
Oscar Chand, who was to travel to New Plymouth to meet White, had never got there, Mr Mansfield said.
The trial continues on Monday when Judge Allan Roberts will sum up.
Taranaki Daily News