3 Dec 2014

Top policeman jailed for drug theft

10:02 pm on 3 December 2014

Police have revealed their first investigation into disgraced former head of the Northland drugs squad Michael Blowers was launched 12 years ago.

Blowers was today sentenced to four years and nine months' jail for stealing methamphetamine from a police safe and supplying it to a dealer.

Mike Blowers in court.

Michael Blowers was sentenced to four years and nine months in jail. Photo: Northern Advocate

He was sentenced in the High Court at Whangarei this morning, and family and friends filled the public gallery during sentencing.

The court had earlier been told Blowers signed out 56 grams of methamphetamine seized in a motel raid in 2011, removing some of it and replacing it with rock salt.

He then supplied it in one gram lots to a woman with whom he had an intimate relationship.

In sentencing, Justice Venning said Blowers' involvement with the unnamed woman led to his downfall and his betrayal of the community which he had served for 21 years.

The judge dismissed Blowers' explanation in his written statement that his actions were to protect his family from gang threats. He said Blowers would have been well aware that he and his family could have been protected.

The Crown said the former officer, who was head of the organised crime unit for 13 months, was responsible for preventing and prosecuting the very crimes he committed.

The court had earlier been told how drug offending by the 51-year-old had led to some dealers getting off unscathed.

Detective Inspector Stuart Allsopp-Smith, left, and Superintendent Russell Le Prou.

Detective Inspector Stuart Allsopp-Smith, left, and Superintendent Russell Le Prou. Photo: RNZ

Superintendent Russell Le Prou later said an internal employment investigation began as early as 2002 over questions about Blowers' integrity but it was not carried through properly over the years.

Detective Inspector Stuart Allsopp-Smith told Checkpoint Blowers was warned over his relationship with a woman informant but police failed to check he had ended his relationship with her.

"I can assure you that it is totally inappropriate and would not be tolerated for any person for any person having form and having a sexual relationship with him," he said.

Blowers continued to meet the woman, despite being told to have no further contact with her.

Mr Le Prou said since Blowers' arrest, police had carried out a full audit of the police storage unit and had an independent review into how drugs were handled.

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