Tuesday, 9 May 2017 - 12:06pm
A 34-year-old man who pleaded guilty to the importation and supply of cocaine has today been sentenced in the Christchurch High Court.
Lee Dixon pleaded guilty to importing cocaine into Christchurch between late 2014 and mid-2015 and has today been sentenced to 14-and-a-half year’s imprisonment.
On 2 July 2015 Dixon was arrested following an investigation by detectives from the National Organised Crime Group. The operation was known as Op Hook.
During the investigation Police gathered evidence including correspondence between Dixon and associates in South America, and over US$100,000 in international money transfers.
Following a disputed facts hearing at an earlier court appearance, Dixon was convicted of importing 6 kilograms of cocaine.
On the day of his arrest, Police executed a search of Dixon’s house and car where they seized approximately US$10,000, a set of electronic scales with cocaine residue, several cell phones and a money exchange receipt.
Dixon was charged with:
• Importing a Class A controlled drug (cocaine)
• Supply a Class A controlled drug (x4) (cocaine)
• Offer to supply a Class A controlled drug
• Failure to carry out obligations in relation to a data storage device
“Today’s sentence reflects the seriousness of this offence and I would like to acknowledge our dedicated investigation team for their work on this inquiry,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Nick Pritchard, National Organised Crime Group.
“Cocaine is a highly addictive drug and has the potential to cause serious harm to those who use it and the people around them.”
Customs Investigations Manager, Bruce Berry says this operation is another example of agencies working together to protect New Zealanders from harmful drugs.
“Criminals trafficking drugs aren’t interested in the damage these substances have on society. Customs and Police will continue to work closely to disrupt the supply chain and apprehend those responsible,” says Mr Berry.
The drug harm index estimates the social cost to New Zealand of 6kg of cocaine in the community is $7,434,000 which includes personal harm and community harm.
“This investigation sends a clear message that we are committed to holding those who are bringing harmful drugs into our community accountable,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Pritchard.
If you or someone you know is affected by illegal drug use, you are encouraged to call the Alcohol and Drug Helpline for free on 0800 787 797.
If you have information about illicit drugs in your community, you can contact your local Police station, or speak anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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