13 Feb 2009

Man who set up drug trade from prison jailed

5:11 pm on 13 February 2009

A man who admitted organising methamphetamine importation from Thailand while in Rimutaka prison has been jailed for 12 years with a minimum non-parole period of seven years.

Ian Hapeta Nuku, 40, was sentenced in the High Court in Wellington on three charges of importing a Class A drug on Friday.

Nuku was serving a five-year sentence for possessing drugs for sale when he set up the methamphetamine importations.

Three days after he was released from prison, a police raid at his home revealed tins containing the drugs, along with paraphernalia related to the sale of drugs.

Nuku told the court that he had disappointed his family and himself.

His lawyer said the offending occurred at a time when drugs and cellphones were freely available in Rimutaka prison and asked the judge to recognise that in sentencing.

However, Justice Simon France said Nuku's actions in jail made a mockery of his claim that he had reformed, and must be met with a stern sentence.