A Dunedin man who told the court he needed to travel north to attend his grandmother's tangi actually went to a gang summit to be patched, a court has heard.
Patrick Amara Folimatama, 25, was on bail for drug-dealing offences in October last year when he went to the Dunedin District Court to try to vary his conditions.
On the form, he stated his plan to attend the funeral at Te Rawhiti marae in the Bay of Islands and asked for permission to be away from his Brockville home where he was on a 9pm-7am curfew.
Police opposed the change to bail and it was declined.
Folimatama went anyway.
When police tried to verify his whereabouts they were told there was no tangi at the Far North marae.
They discovered Folimatama was really at a ''five-day Tribesmen motorcycle gang conference in Auckland, during which he received his gang patch''.
Earlier that year, the defendant was supplying ecstasy on a commercial scale with Codey Mosen, who will be sentenced in August.
The pair would source the MDMA independently, then share and distribute to their customers in smaller quantities.
The police organised crime squad in Dunedin intercepted communications from the men's phones, which revealed the scale of the enterprise.
In just one week in September, Mosen supplied 42g of the class B drug, with a conservative street value of $10,500.
In less than four months the pair had shifted at least $56,000 of ecstasy.
Police raided Mosen's Maclaggan St home on September 20 and found $1250 cash in a bedroom and 10.7g of the drug hidden inside a cocktail shaker in a cupboard.
Folimatama was sentenced in Dunedin District Court recently on charges of supplying a class B drug and using a document for a pecuniary advantage.
Judge Michael Turner noted he did not have a significant criminal history but the defendant's devotion to the gang was likely to lead to further appearances in court, he said.
Folimatama's partner and uncle wrote letters in his support and the defendant himself expressed a desire to take ''a different path in life''.
''I have trouble reconciling the references with the very clear comments you made to the Probation officer as to your intentions, saying that you had a solid loyalty to the gang and a willingness to undertake antisocial and/or violent activity to meet the needs of gang business, and a propensity for violence as a means of resolving conflict,'' Judge Turner said.
He also noted Folimatama's explanation for the offending: that he wanted to make money for his family.
''It seems you were also keen to please the gang that you were then endeavouring to join,'' the judge said.
Folimatama was jailed for three years.
His outstanding fines of more than $6000 were remitted by the judge.