Drug dealer freed on bail over police undercover blunder

A convicted drug dealer who was the only one to plead guilty after a covert police investigation into the motorcycle gang the Red Devils has been freed on bail. File photo / NZ Herald
A convicted drug dealer who was the only one to plead guilty after a covert police investigation into the motorcycle gang the Red Devils has been freed on bail. File photo / NZ Herald

A convicted drug dealer has been freed on bail pending an appeal because police involved in an investigation were found to have acted corruptly following a staged search for evidence against an undercover officer.

On August 10, Trevor John Momo Wilson pleaded guilty to supplying LSD, conspiring to sell party pills, selling cannabis, conspiring to sell cannabis and possession of LSD.

The charges arose out of a covert police investigation into the activities of Nelson motorcycle gang the Red Devils and involved the use of an undercover police officer.

Wilson was sentenced in September to two and a half years' jail on the charge of supplying LSD and concurrent terms of imprisonment of a year on the other charges.

There were 20 other co-accused but Wilson was the only one to plead guilty.

The other co-accused applied to the High Court for a stay of the prosecution on the grounds the actions of the police during the investigation were so against acceptable practice they amounted to an abuse of process.

In October, Justice Simon France in the High Court issued a stay on all prosecutions of the 21 accused after police were found to have committed "fraud on the courts".

Police were found to have manufactured a fake search warrant, created an invented signature of a court official to back it up then staged a false arrest of an undercover agent.

Wilson appealed his conviction after the stay of prosecutions that allowed his co-accused to walk free.

The Crown opposed the appeal, but in a Court of Appeal judgement Justice French allowed it.

"I accept that it is only in exceptional circumstances that this court will entertain an appeal against conviction following a guilty plea.

"However... it is in my assessment more than arguable that should Simon France J's stay decision be upheld on appeal, it would be a miscarriage of justice for the appellant to be denied the benefit of that decision," said Justice French in his decision.

Wilson was released on bail until the appeal.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 23 Aug 2014 16:17:46 Processing Time: 512ms