A former champion bodybuilder has been jailed for nearly four and a half years after being exposed as the mastermind behind a nationwide drug ring.
Phillip James Musson, who was crowned Mr New Zealand Athletic 2005, was sentenced in the Auckland District Court yesterday on nearly 200 charges from illegal activity between November 2011 and February 2013
They included importing, manufacturing, possessing and supplying prescription medicines, as well as forgery.
Musson, 45, admitted 188 breaches of the Medicines Act, relating to anabolic steroids and related medicines used for sports performance and image enhancement.
The court heard how Musson operated the large-scale drug ring, importing medicines as active ingredients from Hong Kong and China.
He manufactured them into tablets, oral solutions and injectable medicines.
They were packed in bottles and vials and labelled under Musson's brand names, "Titan", "CN Pharmaceuticals" and "Phoenix Biotech".
The products he manufactured and sold were not of a pharmaceutical standard and their lack of quality assurance posed a real risk to those using them, health officials determined.
A huge quantity of medicine was seized with an estimated street value of $1.4 million.
Judge Philippa Cunningham said Musson showed blatant disregard for the law, continuing to offend after being served with summonses, and while on bail.
He was assisted in his offending by former Christchurch Cafe owner, Rodney Leonard Bailey, 61, who was previously sentenced to seven months' home detention after pleading guilty to 55 similar charges.
Musson's original business partner, Chetan Viraj Jethwa was given one year home detention and 300 hours community work when he was sentenced in September 2012 in Hamilton.