3 Feb 2012

Key drug figure on home detention while making P

7:11 pm on 3 February 2012

A man jailed for 17 years for his role in one of New Zealand's country's biggest methamphetamine syndicates was on home detention while making and selling the drug.

Scott Filer was convicted of multiple drug charges between 2009 and 2010, after a jury trial in Auckland last year.

Police say Mr Filer could have manufactured between 2kg and 5kg of methamphetamine, or P, between 2009 and 2010, with a 2010 street value of between $2m and $5m.

At the time of the offending, Filer was serving a home detention sentence in Whangamata, for attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Filer and three others were sentenced on multiple manufacturing and supply charges, at the HIgh Court in Auckland on Friday, after a jury found them guilty last year.

They were arrested in 2010, together with another small group of people who will go on trial next week.

Filer made the drugs in Coromandel with Steven Mehrtens, who, although convicted, cannot be sentenced as he has been on the run since his initial arrest.

The Department of Corrections says Filer was being checked by officials fortnightly, and had not broken any of his other conditions.

It says it is not embarrassed that he was able to cook up the methamphetamine without visiting probation officers noticing anything.

Community Probation Services general manager Katrina Casey says staff who saw him at least fortnightly, on scheduled visits, saw no signs of drug making.

She says Filer did not have a history of making methamphetamine and there were no signs to alert them.