'Kingpin' jailed again

A Nelson courier driver who was the kingpin of a drug ring six years ago is back in jail after motel cleaners found methamphetamine worth thousands of dollars he left behind in his room.

Gareth John McIntosh, 34, was sentenced in the High Court in Nelson yesterday after earlier admitting one charge of possessing methamphetamine for supply.

Justice MacKenzie said McIntosh checked into a Nelson motel on July 25 under an assumed name for a one night stay.

Cleaners the next day found a package left behind which had two containers with 11 grams of a crystalline substance.

McIntosh came back to the room to search it twice on the pretence of leaving some cash behind.

He checked back into the same room and was arrested by police there the next morning.

Police found scales, a pipe for smoking methamphetamine, $490 in cash and two point bags of methamphetamine.

Searching McIntosh's vehicle police found a key to a storage unit which had a vehicle in it. In the spare wheel compartment they found $15,800 cash and resealable plastic bags, which had a white powder in them and were a similar size to point bags.

Police found $690 cash at McIntosh's home.

McIntosh was on parole at the time of his offending and was recalled to prison.

In 2006 in the High Court in Nelson McIntosh was sentenced to 7 years 9 months on 15 drug dealing charges. He was caught in 2005 with 400 ecstasy tablets, valued at $20,000 and 29g of crystal methamphetamine worth $29,000 and $7595 cash.

Police received information about McIntosh in 2003 and used cellphone monitoring in Operation GM to catch at least six people involved in methamphetamine dealing in Nelson.

Justice MacKenzie said McIntosh admitted to police the package at the motel in July this year contained methamphetamine and was his.

He said he thought it was about 10 grams and he had purchased about 11 grams for $9000 the previous week.

He said the cash was from his job as a courier driver.

McIntosh was living with his mother at the time of the offending. He was in a relationship and his partner thought he was using drugs and this had impacted on their relationship.

His partner was standing by him and willing to help him through rehab.

Justice MacKenzie said he also had references in support of McIntosh.

McIntosh said he had been making good progress on parole, but after attending a funeral in Auckland met old associates and started using methamphetamine and purchased it again.

His pre-sentence report showed McIntosh was considered at a low risk of re-offending, but if he had contact with prior associates that changed.

McIntosh wanted to complete a drug programme in prison, and had good family support.

Justice MacKenzie said it was clear that McIntosh's methamphetamine use was a concern and a driver behind his offending.

He sentenced McIntosh to two years six months on the most recent offending, which he was to serve con-currently with his current sentence.

Lawyer John Sandston said McIntosh was keen to put his offending behind him and had good support in the community. It was unlikely he would come to court again if he continued down the path he was on before he relapsed.

Prosecutor Emma Riddell said the Crown believed there was a level of commerciality to McIntosh's offending. She asked for a sentence that was cumulative on McIntosh's current sentence.