The trend of drug traffickers using the internet to import illegal substances has been highlighted by Invercargill judges jailing two men in the past two days.
On Wednesday, Judge Michael Crosbie sentenced Invercargill man Justin Alexander Fraser, 27, to two years' jail after he admitted using the internet to buy methylone and getting it posted to New Zealand, where he later on-sold some.
Yesterday, Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced Queenstown-based Briton Michael William Hall to two years and three months' jail after he admitted three charges of importing ecstasy, one charge of offering to sell LSD and another charge of selling cannabis.
Crown lawyer John Young told Judge Phillips a strong deterrent message needed to be sent to people such as Hall who used internet sites to order illegal drugs from overseas.
"It's clearly a significant problem for authorities, customs and society," he said.
Judge Phillips said people were going on to the web and looking up illegal drugs and finding sites they could deal drugs through.
"People that are thinking of doing it need to understand what happens if they get caught.
"There has to be a penalty of significant strength that deters them from accessing such websites."
People who imported drugs on the web would suffer the same fate as people caught with drugs at the border.
Judge Phillips said he found it unbelievable that Hall, who had a degree in zoology, was in the dock being sentenced for such serious offending given his upbringing in Britain, his education and his intelligence.
Hall had allowed the partying and drug scene in Queenstown to get on top of him during his OE, and he had become an "active player".
Hall accessed an overseas website and ordered drugs and had them posted to his address in New Zealand, where he distributed the drugs to his friends and associates.
"You wanted more because it was getting easy, but it was intercepted."
Hall's parents were in the public gallery, after flying across the world, and watched as their son was sent to jail.
Judge Phillips told Hall he would be deported back to Britain when he was freed.
"And you can take up where you left off with your degrees and qualifications, and make something of your life."
Published: 1:15PM Friday April 12, 2013 Source: Fairfax