Wanaka man pleads guilty to 19 charges

Last updated 07:02 26/02/2014

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A plasterer "heavily involved" in drug dealing in Wanaka was remanded in custody for sentence in April.

Daniel Miller, 30, appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Queenstown District Court this week for sentence for cannabis, ecstasy and LSD offending on dates between August 1 and October 18.

He was one of eight people arrested as part of an undercover police bust dubbed Operation Viking.

Miller entered guilty pleas to 27 charges: 19 of supplying or selling cannabis, one of procuring Ritalin, two of conspiring to supply cannabis, two of supplying or selling ecstasy and three of offering to supply LSD on dates between August 1 and October 18.

A summary of facts said Miller was one of several people targeted by undercover police in Wanaka during late 2012 and last year, which included electronic interception of phone calls and text messages.

Sergeant Ian Collin said undercover officers bought drugs directly from people in Wanaka, and police recovered hundreds of LSD tabs and a large quantity of ecstasy.

Miller, who refused to answer questions when arrested, was heavily involved in the supply of controlled drugs in Wanaka, Mr Collin said. Text messages recovered from his phone detailed occasions when he offered to source or sell drugs and in one protracted text exchange in late September and early October he conspired to supply cannabis and LSD.

Lawyer Mike Newell said his client was a street-level dealer and was not involved in the supply of drugs to other dealers.

The largest quantity of cannabis sold was one ounce (28g) and the ecstasy and LSD deals were limited to small amounts and supply among friends or acquaintances.

"It's not a situation where he is high up the chain supplying other dealers. Some of the texts even show he was trying to get out."

Judge Turner refused bail and remanded Miller in custody for sentence on April 7.

Intentional damage

Two British backpackers who caused a $60,000 insurance claim in Queenstown were ordered to pay excesses to flooded businesses.

Gregory Day, 24, and Kim Noar, 23, plead guilty to joint charges of intentionally damaging the Nomads backpackers sprinkler system on Valentine's Day. They were ordered to pay the overall excess of $3500 for the businesses that flooded when, while dancing on a kitchen table at 4.15am, they decided to swing on a pipe, which burst and flooded Nomads, Devil Burger, Cup & Cake, Below Zero Ice Bar, Cowboys and a convenience store. The insurance claim so far was $60,000, the court was told.

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Lawyer Sonia Vidal said Day and Noar fully co-operated and personally apologised to each of the businesses. "They are very remorseful for their actions and had no appreciation that their foolishness would cause such a wide extent of damage."

Judge Turner said their actions were not deliberate but they were reckless. "It's an unfortunate end to your holiday in this country."

Several flooded businesses opened late or closed on Valentines Day, one of the busiest days of the year for Queenstown retail stores.

Day and Noar leave New Zealand this week but the court was told the insurance companies could pursue them in a civil liability claim.

Using telephone threateningly

Geoffrey Matthew Hamilton, 71, of Hensman Rd, was ordered to come up for sentence if called upon within six months for using a telephone threateningly, December 13.

Forgery

Riiria Jade Tatana, 33, baker, of Wanaka, was remanded for sentence on March 24 for stealing a Telecom cellphone on July 15 and knowingly using a forged New Zealand driver's licence between November 1 and January 22. The court was told she travelled to Bangkok, where she had arranged for a custom-made fake New Zealand driver's licence. She altered details on the licence to add endorsements for driving other vehicles but the licence was misplaced and handed in to Wanaka police station.

Shoplifting

Sarah Tamara Geck, 23, German national, was fined $200 for stealing $42.26 of grocery items from Fresh Choice on February 1.

Trespass

Manish Nadan, 18, stonemason, of Fernhill, was ordered to come up for sentence if called upon within six months for trespassing after being warned to leave, February 6.

Drink-driving

Marcus Philip Jones, 21, of Arthurs Pt, UK national, was fined $1450 and disqualified for 12 months for driving with a blood alcohol level of 181mg and careless use of a vehicle on December 26.

Sonja Carnier, 43, of Fernhill, 180mg on December 26. Fined $1200 and disqualified for nine months.

Jack Hardison Wright, 23, US national, was fined $530 and disqualified for six months for driving with a breath alcohol level of 527mcg on February 20.

Joel Vincent Climo, 19, of Lake Hayes Estate, 377mcg on February 22. Fined $370 and disqualified for three months.

Paula Marie Lambert, 45, of Wanaka, 450mcg on February 1. Fined $450 and disqualified for six months, 450mcg on February 1.

Christopher Lloyd Stephenson, 49, of Lake Hayes, 527mcg on February 15. Fined $530 and disqualified for six months.

Yosuke Murata, 35, chef, of Wanaka, 441mcg on February 16. Fined $440 and disqualified for six months.

- The Southland Times

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