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Man jailed for selling nitrous oxide

Media Release

11 May 2007

Man sentenced after unlawful possession of prescription medicines

The Ministry of Health is pleased to announce the jailing of a Christchurch man for the unlawful possession and supply of a prescription medicine.

Tony Dexter Valentine pleaded guilty in the Christchurch District Court to one charge of possession of a prescription medicine, being nitrous oxide, without reasonable excuse in breach of section 43(1) of the Medicines Act 1981.

He was jailed for two years and ten months.

On 31 August 2005, Police and Ministry officers visited The Cell at 68A Manchester Street, Christchurch and executed a search warrant. A number of boxes of canisters of nitrous oxide were seized from the premises, along with three tanks with “NOS”(another name for nitrous oxide) written on them. Signage relating to the sale of nitrous oxide was also seized along with paraphernalia associated with the recreational use of nitrous oxide.

During the visit, Valentine arrived at the premises and identified himself as the owner/operator of The Cell.

This is the Ministry’s first prosecution of any person for the unlawful possession of nitrous oxide under the Medicines Act.

The seized nitrous oxide will now be destroyed, as ordered by the Judge.


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