Taranaki's 'Mr Big' pleads guilty to drug charges
A drug dealer regarded as Taranaki's Mr Big was caught red-handed with the largest amount of methamphetamine ever seized in the region.
Ivan Martin, of Egmont Village, pleaded guilty yesterday in the New Plymouth District Court to a raft of drug-related charges following a police search of his car on November 8 at Urenui.
Martin was caught red-handed with all the trappings of a drug dealer.
In his car was nearly 20 grams of P, which police estimate to be worth as much as $23,000, two pairs of scales, plastic bags, cannabis leaf and seeds and drug utensils as well as methylone, a drug similar to Ecstasy.
Police also found $6000 in cash stashed with the drugs.
Under the proceeds of drug dealing legislation, Martin stands to lose all his possessions related to his illegal activities.
Martin's lawyer, Julian Hannam told Judge Allan Roberts that his instructions from his client were that $4800 of the $6000 found by police was from the sale of his motorcycle.
Judge Roberts said that was a matter to be dealt with at sentence.
Mr Hannam also asked that Martin be permitted to remain on bail in order to care for his partner who was unwell and needed his moral support.
But the judge denied bail because Martin had earlier breached his bail conditions on January 1.
Judge Roberts called for a pre-sentence report noting Martin was likely facing a lengthy term of imprisonment.
Martin was remanded in custody until sentencing in the High Court on February 12.
Out of court, the New Plymouth CIB drug squad chief Detective Sergeant Greg Gray said he believed the amount of methamphetamine in Martin's car was the largest amount found on one person in his 10 years on the job in Taranaki.
By LYN HUMPHREYS
Taranaki Daily News