A 22-year-old Hamilton man has been sentenced to nearly three years in jail after drugs were found hidden in laptop bags, a builder's spirit level and lint rollers.

This is Customs' eighth conviction under Operation Ruckus, which dismantled a drug syndicate importing methamphetamine precursors.

Hayden Bacon was convicted on four charges including possessing pseudoephedrine (Contac NT), importing a psychoactive substance, and importing and supplying ecstasy (MDMA).

He was jailed for two years and seven months for importing and possessing drugs.


Operation Ruckus began after Customs intercepted eight packages of the methamphetamine precursor, Contac NT, between July and October 2013, which were couriered to addresses in Auckland and Hamilton.

Most packages were hidden inside laptop bags, while one was concealed in a builder's spirit level, and another inside lint rollers. The 11.4kg Contac NT could have yielded up to 3.4kg of methamphetamine, worth up to $3.4 million.

Six men, including Bacon, aged between 22 and 38, were arrested in Hamilton and Auckland.

Benjamin McMullen and Patrick Sinclair were sentenced to home detention for their roles as catchers, while two organisers were each jailed for over two years. Michael Synnott was imprisoned for three years and three months for a similar role.

Further inquiries led to the arrest of two more offenders that were at a higher level in the syndicate. They were sentenced in the North Shore District Court last week to six and seven years imprisonment.

Customs manager investigations Maurice O'Brien said disrupting the supply chain of methamphetamine and its precursors was Customs' number one drug priority.

"Operation Ruckus was a great success. We've nabbed an entire network that was importing drugs."