Celeb drug ring supplier jailed for four years

The man said to be the kingpin of a white collar celebrity drug ring was making a lot of money, a judge said today.

John Francis Waterworth, 56, was jailed for four-and-a-half years for running a drug ring which also snared sporting celebrities Marc Ellis and Brent Todd.

In the High Court in Auckland today Justice Raynor Asher told Waterworth he was dealing drugs, mainly ecstasy, at a significant scale and making a lot of money.

After buying the tablets for $30 each, Waterworth sold them for $60.

He jailed Waterworth on 16 drugs charges involving cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy. He ordered a minimum non-parole period of two years and three months.

Another man, Adamu Awahdi, 31, supplied Waterworth with ecstasy and was jailed for three years and three months on three charges with no minimum non-parole term.

The judge said Waterworth was a drug user and addicted to methamphetamine when he was dealing and when police put him under surveillance for a month.

He had got into the habit of supplying people with drugs for profit.

"He was known as someone who could obtain drugs on request."

His profits for the month police were watching him were estimated at up to $75,140.

He was a central figure in a supply ring involving "quite a number of users".

The users would approach Waterworth instead of someone on the street.

The judge said a starting point for Waterworth was seven-and-a-half years but he deserved a discount of 40 per cent for his genuine remorse, his attempts to deal with his addiction since he had been in custody and his guilty plea.

He said Awahdi was closer to the source of the drugs and was prepared to profit by being the person in the middle.

He rejected a submission by Awahdi's lawyer, Sanjay Patel, that he was not dealing in drugs for money.

The charges against him were not as serious as those against Waterworth but Awahdi would have made a substantial profit.

Outside the court the policeman in charge of the case, Detective Sergeant Geoff Baber, said he agreed with the comment in court that Awahdi had shown no motivation to change.

"That's Awahdi."

Mr Baber said he also found it difficult to believe Awahdi was not making money.

"I find it difficult to believe somebody would do this type of business and not make money."

He said Awahdi had not co-operated and told police who his source for the drugs was although police had "an idea."

Two more people had yet to be tried on drugs charges but the sentencing today of Waterworth and Awahdi took the count of people with drug convictions from the drug ring to 14.

Mr Baber would not comment on others who were implicated but not charged, including former All Black Josh Kronfeld and television celebrity Lana Coc Kroft.

In September Brent Todd was fined $500 in Auckland District Court for procuring cocaine from Waterworth. Ellis was fined $300 for possessing ecstasy.

- NZPA

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