A Taupō drug dealer caught illegally getting guns for supply to the criminal black market and dealing large amounts of methamphetamine has been jailed for five years and four months.
Details of Gordon Mark McRae's offending reveal police stumbled on what he was up to while investigating drug dealing by Rotorua Killer Beez gang members.
Rotorua District Court Judge Tony Snell said his sentence had to denounce and deter similar offending where lethal firearms were put in the hands of criminals.
"This offending involves firearms, gangs and drugs. When you have all three in the picture it's not a pretty picture at all ... it must be stopped."
McRae, 34, appeared in court today for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to a raft of charges.
He has admitted charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, conspiracy to unlawfully possess a firearm, offering to sell a pistol, supplying firearms to unlicensed individuals and two representative counts of supplying methamphetamine.
A police summary of facts revealed the "diverting" of firearms by McRae - through his licensed friends - was discovered by Rotorua police investigating the drug dealing by the Killer Beez gang.
Judge Snell quoted from the police's summary of facts, which said police became aware of McRae's offending in December 2020.
A surveillance device warrant was issued by the High Court which authorised police to intercept the private communications of McRae and to monitor his movements through tracking devices.
The surveillance revealed McRae was also involved in the sale and supply of methamphetamine.
He would arrange to buy bulk amounts, generally in ounces, and would then supply it to associates and other street-level dealers in the Taupō area.
McRae has never held a firearms licence. In 2020 he used his relationship with two associates who held firearms licences and convinced them to buy firearms on his behalf.
The firearms were acquired by McRae, onsold on the black market and were now in the hands of unlicensed people involved in the criminal world. None of the firearms have been recovered.
In September 2020 McRae arranged for an associate to buy five Alfa-brand revolver carbine rifles with the intention of on-selling them for profit.
On September 29, the associate went to Gun City in Hamilton and used his lawfully-held firearms licence to buy four .22magnum revolver rifles, one .357magnum revolver rifles and 1200 rounds of ammunition. The purchase came to $8977 and he paid in cash.
In the days following, the associate gave these firearms to McRae, who then onsold them.
McRae reassured his customers the firearms were brand new and they would not have to worry about what the firearms might have been used for previously.
On October 20, McRae contacted a Killer Beez gang member in Rotorua in an attempt to procure a wholesale amount of methamphetamine.
They communicated with each other via text messages but unbeknown to McRae, police were investigating the Killer Beez, including the man McRae was communicating with.
During a series of messages, McRae offered to exchange a .38 calibre pistol and $3000 cash for the ounce, which normally sold for between $8500 and $9500.
The Killer Bee rejected the offer because he and the gang would have lost on the deal by $1200, the summary said.
McRae used an associate with a firearms licence who had a methamphetamine addiction to buy firearms for him at Gun City in Auckland. He also told the salesperson he wanted to collect the rifle that had been pre-ordered over the phone by his brother, "Patrick Clover".
In total he paid $3650 towards firearms and ammunition, using money McRae had given him. Police later found out there was no such person as Patrick Clover.
The summary said McRae supplied a woman with at least two ounces of methamphetamine between September 2020 and February 2021. On one occasion the woman went with McRae to Rotorua to get the methamphetamine.
The summary also detailed how McRae and another methamphetamine dealer had a falling out when McRae couldn't source enough of the drug for him, resulting in the other dealer losing the "client's business".
The rift was mended between September 2020 and February 2020 when McRae sourced more methamphetamine and supplied the man at least two ounces.
McRae's house was searched in February 2021 and police found dealing bags, $1850 in cash and a cutting agent used for diluting methamphetamine to increase its apparent weight.
When arrested, McRae told police he was addicted to methamphetamine and was constantly trying to facilitate deals in the hope of being able to skim some to maintain his own habit and repay his debts.
A pre-sentence report considered McRae "high concern" and of a high risk of reoffending.
McRae has told authorities he was "just a middle man" and was "blinded" by his drug addiction.
Grace Banuelos appeared for the Crown and Brian Foote appeared for McRae.