12 Jun 2017

Wellington men found guilty of supplying meth

7:32 pm on 12 June 2017

Two men accused of running a ring that supplied methamphetamine around the central and lower North Island have been found guilty of all the charges they were facing.

High Court in Wellington generic, 2 Molesworth St, Pipitea, Wellington 6011

The jury in the High Court in Wellington deliberated for six hours before finding Clint Helmbright guilty of 15 charges and Lewis Padden of five. Photo: RNZ / Aaron Smale

Clint Helmbright was on trial in the High Court in Wellington on 15 charges including possession of methamphetamine for supply and supplying the drug.

His co-accused Lewis Padden was charged with five counts of supplying the drug to Helmbright.

The charges all related to events which took place between August and October 2013.

The Court heard Helmbright obtained methamphetamine, some of which was supplied by Padden, and on-sold it to others in various locations, including Rotorua, Carterton and Upper Hutt.

At the start of their trial two weeks ago, the Crown said the police monitored the pair's conversations and talk of car parts, chainsaws and tyres were actually coded references to their drug dealing.

The jury heard a search of Helmbright's Plimmerton home turned up a small amount of methamphetamine in a wallet on the kitchen bench and drug paraphernalia was also found at a Rotorua property connected to him.

That included a set of digital scales, which the Crown said were used for measuring small amounts of methamphetamine and small plastic bags which were used to package the drug for sale.

At the start of the trial Padden, who was representing himself, made a short statement to the jury in which he denied involvement in the methamphetamine trade.

He said he was a panel beater and had been employed by Helmbright to work on his vehicles.

The jury deliberated for six hours before returning the guilty verdicts.

Justice Thomas remanded Padden and Helmbright in custody until they are sentenced next month.

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