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Drug ring sentenced to 54 years’ imprisonment

Drug ring sentenced to 54 years’ imprisonment

Five members of a drug ring have been sentenced in the Auckland High Court to a combined total of over 54 years’ imprisonment for importing multiple consignments of methamphetamine, GBL, MDMA and cocaine.

Three men and one woman were sentenced today. Rodney Martel, 40, believed to be the leader, was sentenced to 18 years and 6 months’ imprisonment. Rachel Vincent, 34, and Regardht Roux, 32, were sentenced to 14 years and 8 months,’ and 11 years and 6 months’ imprisonment respectively. Anthony Dawson, 29, was sentenced 3 years’ jail. James Bell, 44, was sentenced last Wednesday (2 August) to 6 years and 10 months’ jail.

Operation Spar linked 37 drug seizures – totalling 5.6 kilograms meth, 7.7 litres GBL, 1986 MDMA pills and 31 grams cocaine. Customs seized the consignments sent by mail and airfreight between June 2015 and April 2016. Six packages were sent to Bell’s Auckland work address, and 31 packages were destined for different Christchurch addresses.

Customs Investigations Manager Bruce Berry says all five offenders were drug users and opportunists who chose to be greedy and import drugs to distribute through their networks.

“Good intelligence and investigative work connected these consignments and identified the drug ring. Every drug seizure adds up – taking that amount off the street, and adding a charge to the offenders’ list. All five were charged after Customs conducted multiple search warrants in March and April 2016, where further evidence was also found.

“This wasn’t a sophisticated syndicate. They may have tried different types of concealment and tricks such as delivering to unsuspecting addresses, or using phone apps to discuss drug matters – but these methods are known to Customs,” Mr Berry says.

“Customs targets packages through risk-profiling and our skilled officers locate the drugs. Special credit goes to our intelligence and investigations teams for their thoroughness and tenacity in joining the dots to hold these offenders accountable. This is a great outcome.”

If you have suspicions about someone who may be smuggling drugs by getting it delivered to unsuspecting addresses, call 0800 4 CUSTOMS in confidence or Crime Stoppers.

- ends –

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