Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Tauranga women caught packaging drugs in motel room avoids jail

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A Tauranga  woman was sentenced to home detention when she appeared in the Tauranga District Court today on a drugs charge. File/Photo
A Tauranga woman was sentenced to home detention when she appeared in the Tauranga District Court today on a drugs charge. File/Photo

A Tauranga woman caught packaging psychoactive drugs in a Tauranga motel room potentially worth more than $200,000 if sold has received five months' home detention.

Bronwyn Shirley-Anne Noble, 20, was sentenced in Tauranga District Court today after earlier pleading guilty to a charge of possession of psychoactive substances with the intent to supply.

Sentencing for her co-offenders Gaylene Rose Stokes, 51, and Yvette Anne Rihia, 41, who also earlier pleaded guilty to the same charge was adjourned to January 13.

Judge Paul Mabey QC agreed to adjourn sentencing to enable the pair more time to find suitable home detention addresses.

The charges against the trio stemmed from a police raid on a Tauranga motel unit on July 18 last year following a tip-off.

The Crown summary of facts revealed that during the search police located 11kg of non-approved psychoactive substances packaged in about 1kg plastic bags.

The drugs were already there when the defendants arrived at the assigned motel unit.

The summary of facts also stated the defendants knew to uplift each 1kg bag and separate the contents into about 500 2g bags already provided to them.

When police arrived, the defendants were in the process of dividing the contents of the 1kg bags into small plastic snaplock bags containing about 2g per bag.

Once that process was completed, they were instructed to leave the motel unit.

They were paid in cash for undertaking this process either then or contacted later.

Also found in the motel unit were scales, spoons used to measure the substance, cell phones and $832.50.

The non-approved psychoactive substance often referred to as "synnies" were commonly sold in 2g lots in snaplock bags, the police summary stated.

Synnies commonly sold for between $30 to $50 for 2g, giving a street value of between $165,000 and $275,000 for the product found in the motel unit.

Judge Mabey QC said in granting home detention he took into account that the trio were not principal offenders and it was clear they were no more than "labourers" acting until the control of someone else.

In 2013, the Government introduced the Psychoactive Substances Act 2013 to control the importation, manufacture and sale of psychoactive substances in New Zealand.

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