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P cook, dealer gets 12 years for 'unprecedented misery'

  1. buseman
    A methamphetamine cook has been jailed for 12 years for making and dealing a drug that had caused unprecedented misery and destruction to New Zealand society.

    Lee Richard Oswald Bell, 42, pleaded guilty to 36 charges that included manufacturing P, possession of P for supply, possession of precursors used to make P and possession of restricted weapons that included firearms, ammunition and pistols.

    He was found in a car in Pakuranga last July with a loaded shotgun beside him, a rifle under the seat, a stun gun, cash, scales, stolen jewellery and counterfeit New Zealand driver's licences, the High Court at Auckland heard.

    Police had been hunting him since he fled the High Court six months earlier after a judge refused him bail.

    At his sentencing hearing yesterday Justice Rebecca Ellis ordered he serve at least six years of the jail term.

    You have contributed to the suffering of others by supplying them with methamphetamine, she said.

    Although his guilty plea saved the New Zealand taxpayer the cost of the trial, that had to be measured against the fact he continued to offend on bail.

    Loaded guns were also found at some houses, including those where children lived.

    Justice Ellis accepted Bell wasn't a small-time player but a lead actor who at certain time dealt in ounces of methamphetamine.

    Bell denied the amount of P he was alleged by police to have sold.

    He admitted supplying between 560g to 672g of P - and the court heard he had been given the benefit of the doubt when it came to the amount of the drug sold.

    Justice Ellis said her own view was he probably supplied more than this. The drugs were thought to have a street value of between $250,000 and $500,000.

    By Andrew Koubaridis
    Wednesday Jun 23, 2010


  1. drix
    They are really cracking down on meth production and importation here in N.Z. There have been a few high profile murder cases in which the media and police say 'p' has been implicated and very stiff jail terms have been handed down, particularly to manufacturers, importers and dealers.
    The government have also tightened regulations for the sale of pseudoephedrine to the point where a lot of pharmacies don't carry it any more, because between the paperwork and the risk of being burgled/held up it's just not worth the effort for them.
    Swim thinks the government intends to make it script only very soon, but wonders how much effect this will have as he hears anecdotally that most pse comes in from China and Asia generally and most production is, of course, gang controlled.
    Meth is fucking expensive here though and swim thinks that one major reason for it's popularity is that there really aren't a lot of drugs available here apart from pot, probably due to the small and isolated nature of the country. As opposed to the U.S. where swim assumes the availability/cheapness of the precursors and ease of manufacture are major reasons for meths popularity. (As well as it's being a pretty nice buzz!)
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