Drug-ring head waits on leave to appeal

By -
File Photo / NZ Herald
File Photo / NZ Herald

The Supreme Court has reserved its ruling on whether to grant a Far North man - dubbed a drug kingpin for ruling over a multimillion-dollar dealing network - leave to appeal his conviction for manufacturing and supplying methamphetamine, cocaine, cannabis oil and ecstasy.

Maxwell John Beckham, 66, from Mangonui, was found guilty of 24 charges after a six-week trial in the High Court in Auckland in April 2011.

The charges included conspiracy to manufacture and supply methamphetamine and supplying methamphetamine, cocaine, cannabis oil and ecstasy. He was also found guilty of

supplying more than 2kg of methamphetamine worth $2 million, but acquitted on 29 other drug and money-laundering charges.

The wealthy businessman, who headed a drug syndicate from his lifestyle block, was sentenced to 13-and-a-half years' jail, with a minimum non-parole period of seven years.

But the Court of Appeal last year replaced his jail term with one of 18 years in jail, with a minimum non-parole period of nine years.

During his Auckland trial, it was revealed Beckham was the kingpin of a methamphetamine syndicate. Detectives found $865,720 hidden in a vehicle at his home when he was arrested in 2008. Beckham's assets and cash worth more than $10 million have been restrained.

He was arrested after a six-month inquiry during which police tapped his cellphone and bugged his car.

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