Two former Head Hunters gang prospects and their associate have been jailed for dealing large amounts of drugs, namely P, while pretending to be running a moving business.

Joshua Peterson, 29, Mark Tane Morgan, 33, and Daytona Byron Witeri Ranui, 29, were sentenced by Justice Katz in the High Court at Rotorua today.

Peterson was sentenced to nine years three months in prison, Morgan four years and Ranui seven years and four months.

The trio were charged in 2016 as part of 18-month-long Operation Centurion, centred around the Head Hunter motorcycle gang and methamphetamine supply.


Police intercepted phone communications, tracked vehicles and had undercover police pose as ephedrine suppliers to make deals with the group.

The three men previously pleaded guilty to participating in an organised criminal group and conspiring to deal ephedrine in 2015 and 2016.

Peterson also admitted supplying 691.8g of methamphetamine, as well as possessing 2kg of the drug and 24.7g of cocaine for supply, and cultivating cannabis.

Joshua Peterson. Photo / Stephen Parker
Joshua Peterson. Photo / Stephen Parker

Ranui admitted charges of supplying at least 84g of methamphetamine and having a further 1148g for supply.

Morgan also pleaded guilty to supplying 56g of P, and Peterson and Ranui jointly admitted unlawfully possessing a pistol.

The summary of facts stated Peterson used a family-owned industrial shed on the outskirts of Ōpōtiki as a drug-dealing base while posing as a moving company.

Crown prosecutor Anna Pollett said Peterson's role was "dealing on behalf of the gang, but also making significant amounts of money himself".

The self-employed qualified builder started dealing cannabis when he was "struggling to make ends meet".


He went to the Jehovah's Witnesses' church twice a week in his community and was not a drug user.

Defence counsel Steve Bonnar QC described Peterson as "a young man at the prime of his life".

Justice Katz said it was "extremely sad and unusual" to see a first-time offender commit such crimes that left friends and family "shocked and bewildered".

Morgan, a Head Hunter prospect, was the "front man" responsible for delivering methamphetamine to wholesale customers.

Mark Tane Morgan. Photo / Stephen Parker
Mark Tane Morgan. Photo / Stephen Parker

Ranui, another prospect, was described by Pollett as a "foot soldier, limited to more menial and hazardous tasks" such as counting and storing money.

Lawyer Belinda Sellars said Ranui was "put under control with threats of violence and actual violence".

She said he was involved in meth supply to feed drug addiction problems that started at age 12.

Daytona Byron Witeri Ranui. Photo / Stephen Parker
Daytona Byron Witeri Ranui. Photo / Stephen Parker

Ranui began to softly cry in the docks when his mother Kathryn addressed the court.

She said her sons were raised in broken homes while she suffered domestic abuse in relationships.

Kathryn Ranui said Ranui's father had died and he had been mostly raised in Australia, away from his early beginnings in tikanga Māori.

"Methamphetamine is not gender-specific, age-specific, and it's certainly not race-specific, and it's got my son as well," she said.