Man who lead methamphetamine ring from his Rimutaka Prison cell is sentenced to more than 13 years' jail

The ringleader of a meth importation ring has received a heavy jail sentence today. Photo / Claire De Barr
The ringleader of a meth importation ring has received a heavy jail sentence today. Photo / Claire De Barr

A man who arranged the importation of methamphetamine from his Rimutaka Prison cell has been sentenced to 13 years and two months' jail.

Justice David Collins today sentenced Egyptian national Mohamed Soliman Hussain Atta in the Wellington High Court, after the 42-year-old admitted seven representative charges of importing methamphetamine and one charge of conspiracy to supply methamphetamine.

Atta's offending occurred from within his cell at Rimutaka Prison over three months in 2014, using a number of cell phones, including one supplied by former Corrections' officer Alofainu'u Tuisamoa.

Detective Sergeant James Withington, of the National Organised Crime Group, said Atta used his international contacts to run the drug ring.

His offending was exposed by the joint police, Corrections and Customs investigation, Operation Gandolf.

Eleven people involved with the drug dealing have been sentenced. Three more are awaiting sentence, Withington said.

"Those convicted of importing methamphetamine were either patched gang members, or had strong gang associations, which demonstrates gang involvement in this trade.

"The co-operative approach between police, Customs, and Corrections has enabled us to identify and put a stop to their offending."

He encouraged anyone affected by methamphetamine to ask for help.

"With support, you can get free of this drug."

- NZ Herald

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