The kingpin in a major methamphetamine manufacturing operation based in Katikati has been jailed for 10-and-a-half years.
Karl Rodney Goldsbury, 39, of Maketu, yesterday was sentenced in the High Court at Rotorua by Justice Patrick Keane, who also imposed a five-year minimum term of imprisonment.
Three others involved in the same operation who were found guilty with Goldsbury by a jury in July were also sentenced.
Ryan David Carroll, 34, of Judea, was jailed for three years three months; Terrence William Jones, 30, of Katikati, for two years three months and his partner, Tracey Angela Farrow, 28, also of Katikati, was placed on home detention for a year and ordered to do 200 hours' community work.
Justice Keane said Goldsbury played the key role in the offending, which culminated in December 2012 when the Armed Offenders Squad surrounded the shed in which the methamphetamine (P) was being manufactured.
A short while later it erupted in flames and those inside could be heard smashing its contents, only running out as the building was on the verge of becoming an inferno.
Goldsbury was found guilty of conspiring to manufacture P, supplying the precursor hypophosphorus acid, possessing iodine, supplying P and attempting to pervert the course of justice. He was acquitted of arson.
Carroll was found guilty of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, as was Jones who was also found guilty of offering to supply P, and attempting to defeat the course of justice. At the start of the trial he pleaded guilty to a charge of offering to supply.
Farrow was found guilty of conspiring to supply P and offering to supply it to her sister.
Justice Keane noted Goldsbury was on bail when he began the manufacturing process, which had produced at least 25 grams of P.
"This was manufacturing on a significant commercial scale," the judge said.
He reiterated evidence that Goldsbury had obtained iodine used in P's manufacturing process from a Hamilton source but when stopped by the police, who took it from him, got more.
He had also acquired the acid, a precursor to making P, and bought equipment from hardware stores needed in the manufacturing process.
Carroll had arranged transport, for the shed to be made available to Goldsbury, and was involved in the manufacturing. He had helped destroy the evidence.
Jones and Farrow had been the tenants of the building burned down. Their role had been to allow Goldsbury access, then leave, so he could have a "free hand", and to bring him ice, something else used in P's manufacture.
Two others, Mark Kimber, 49, and Simon Christopher Whare, 40, were acquitted of a joint charge of supplying methamphetamine and manufacturing the drug respectively.
• Karl Rodney Goldsbury, 10-and-a-half years' jail
• Ryan David Carroll, 3 years 3 months' jail
• Terrence William Jones, 2 years 3 months' jail
• Tracey Angela Farrow, one year home detention, 200 hours' community work.