A P-dealing gang boss caught bringing drugs from the Bay of Plenty into Christchurch has today been jailed for more than eight years.
Paul Christopher Laxon, the South Island president of Mongrel Mob Notorious, was the "ringleader" of the highly organised drug trafficking and distribution network involving hundreds of thousands of dollars of methamphetamine.
Laxon, 60, had travelled from Christchurch to Rotorua seven times last year to find and buy the drugs and bring shipments back down south.
The drugs were then broken down into "dealable amounts", ranging from one gram with a street value of $1000, down to $100 tenths of grams.
Laxon then got a Mongrel Mob associate, two of his own children, and a childhood friend to sell the drugs in Christchurch and Dunedin.
On his seventh trip, armed police stopped his car near Rotorua on June 12 last year.
Police found 96g of P, with an estimated street value of $96,000, hidden in a plastic container beneath the car's carpet.
Laxon pleaded guilty to 18 charges of supplying the class A drug methamphetamine, and one charge of possession.
At Christchurch District Court today, Judge Raoul Neave sentenced him to eight years, two months in jail for what was "undoubtedly serious offending".
Laxon moved to Christchurch from the North Island about 10 years ago to escape "various drug influences", defence counsel Steve Hembrow said today.
He had been working full-time, Mr Hembrow said, when his partner left in March last year "without warning".
Within a week, he was "back using" P, the court heard.
His intravenous drug use rapidly escalated to 5-6g a day.
To fund his expensive illicit habit, he "got himself into this web of offending", Mr Hembrow said
The drug-running was not a gang operation, Mr Hembrow claimed, even though Laxon is the president of the Notorious Chapter, which he said "isn't really active".
His greatest regret was involving others, including his two children, Mr Hembrow said.
Mr Hembrow described Laxon as "well spoken ... quite charming in many respects" and said he was now a model prisoner, who had vowed his days of criminal behaviour were now over.
Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh said Laxon was "clearly the ringleader and organiser of this enterprise".
Laxon's daughter Melissa Melanie-Jane Laxon, 38, his son Thomas Paul Christopher Neil, 23, Maynard Wickliffe, 37, and Karen Marie Scott, 44, were also arrested as part of the operation and admitted supplying methamphetamine.
Scott was jailed for three years and two months, while Melissa Laxon was sentenced to 12 months home detention.
Today, Wickliffe was jailed for two years, seven months.
Neil, who defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger said was not a drug user but had been financially motivated to get involved, was sentenced to 12 months' home detention.