16 Mar 2016

Father joins son in jail for drug crime

2:55 pm on 16 March 2016

A man who admitted his involvement in a major drug growing operation in Wellington has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in prison.

Joseph Tobin, 61, was sentenced in the Wellington District Court today, after previously pleading guilty to a raft of drug related charges including cultivating cannabis and dealing in meth.

He also admitted one charge of unlawfully possessing a firearm.

The charges against Tobin were laid after police raided several properties in Porirua, Mornington and Upper Hutt during what was dubbed 'Operation Hive' in 2013.

The raids saw thousands of dollars worth of drugs and cannabis crops seized.

Judge Bruce Davidson said Tobin's degree of involvement in the growing operations at five properties was varied, but he was deeply involved in three of them and in the drug underworld.

Tobin helped provide equipment and plants to others growing cannabis between 2007 and 2013, he said.

He set up the growing operation with his son, Mason Tobin, who was sentenced to jail in January for his involvement.

Tobin had worked as a seaman for over 30 years to provide for his four children, but his health began to deteriorate, Judge Davidson said.

"You worked hard during your adult life, but for the last seven years you've been plagued by a back injury and as a result you began to self medicate [with cannabis] and this then developed into this drug operation," he said.

He described Tobin's offending as "organised, planned and premeditated."

While reaching the sentence, Judge Davidson took into account Tobin's guilty plea and the fact Tobin had taken part in a drug rehabilitation programme.