A Northlander who acted as a "taxi service" by dropping off people and supplies used in the manufacture of a substantial amount of methamphetamine has been jailed for more than eight years.
Sharn Stanley Keogh, 27, earlier pleaded guilty to two charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, two of conspiracy to supply methamphetamine and of participating in an organised crime. He appeared for sentencing in the High Court at Whangarei last week.
Keogh was among 14 people arrested as part of a covert police Operation Easter that targeted the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine.
Armed police raided a P lab at a property in Taipuha Rd at Waiotira, between Whangarei and Paparoa, in a series of busts resulting in the arrests on December 16, 2014.
A covert surveillance camera was set up to watch activities at the house. Keogh was seen delivering a number of items, including a large container of liquid and bags of ice, which are used as a cooling agent in the manufacture of meth.
He also transported a number of people who were allegedly involved in cooking the drug.
Although the exact amount of meth produced in the manufactures Keogh was involved with could not be determined, it was substantial.
Police are aware of at least 7244g of the drug being made at the house over three occasions between October and December 2014. A gram has a street value of up to $1000.
Justice Simon Moore said Keogh had been a heavy meth addict, using between 0.5g and 2g a day at a cost of between $400 and $1600.
"On any analysis, that is a phenomenally high level of personal use and underscores the level of your addiction," the judge said.
Justice Moore said meth was an insidious, pernicious and highly addictive drug which was responsible for "incalculable misery" in society.
He said although Keogh's role was largely confined to a delivery man or courier, he was a willing participant in a large gang-run, highly sophisticated drug manufacturing and distribution ring.
"This was not some group of misguided friends or associates getting together to make some P. The planning was precise and well co-ordinated," Justice Moore said.
"Your role was an important adjunct to the success of the operation as a whole."
At the age of 27, he said Keogh had 20 previous convictions which dated back to 2008.
Most concerning, he said, was that Keogh was convicted in 2010 on a variety of meth charges including supplying, for which he received what may be regarded as a "merciful sentence" of six months home detention.
Justice Moore said Keogh needed professional help to overcome his drug addiction.
He said Keogh was fortunate to have the love and support of his mother and partner and urged him to remove himself from all the influences that led to his offending and addiction.