A Rotorua drug dealer who tried to pretend he had a “smorgasbord” of drugs because he was stocking up in case there was another lockdown has been sent to jail.
Aaron Bradley, 50, from Rotorua, has been jailed for four years and nine months after admitting 10 charges relating to possessing, selling and importing drugs including GBL, methamphetamine, LSD and cannabis.
It was revealed during his sentencing in the Rotorua District Court on Monday that police tapped his phone, which revealed the extent of his drug dealing.
His Rotorua home was searched on October 7, 2020, and police found $122,000 cash, 200 millilitres of GBL, 140g of methamphetamine, 20 cannabis plants growing hydroponically and 428g of prepared cannabis head.
Crown Solicitor Amanda Gordon raised concerns during the sentencing that Bradley appeared to be minimising his offending.
He told a pre-sentence report writer the drugs police found were largely for personal use and he was stocking up in case there was another pandemic and for any friends who wanted to come around during a lockdown.
Judge Cooper said given the amount of cash and the “smorgasbord” of drugs that were found, it was clear he was operating as a drug dealer for commercial reasons.
Judge Cooper said New Zealand Customs intercepted nine packages to Bradley containing a total of 34.7 litres of GBL with a street value of $138,000.
Bradley pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine for supply, importing GBL, supplying GBL, possession of GBL for supply, cultivating cannabis, possession of cannabis for supply, possession of LSD, possession of a precursor substance and possession of utensils used for consuming illicit drugs.
The charges relate to offending between December 2019 and October 2020.
Judge Cooper said texts showed he was selling methamphetamine and when police searched his house they found him with 140g of methamphetamine, although 29g was said to be of poor quality so Judge Cooper reduced the amount to 111g for the purpose of sentencing.
The indoor cannabis growing set-up revealed 10 cannabis plants and 10 cannabis seedlings and 428g of prepared cannabis head in containers.
He had 16 tabs of LSD and 1kg of iodine.
Bradley has previous convictions for drug dealing in 2002, 2003, 2010 and 2017.
“You are 50 years of age and have a lifetime of drug addiction.”
After his 2017 conviction, he received a community-based sentence and was referred to the Bridge rehabilitation programmes but he was removed from the course, despite making good progress in the earlier stages of the course.
He has two teenage children who he hasn’t seen for seven years.
“Essentially that’s because you’ve put your drug addition ahead of everything else in your life … You had a traumatic upbringing but you were a hard worker and were employed at the time of the offending.”
A cultural report prepared for sentencing said he had iwi links but was “completely disconnected to Te Ao Māori”.
“Your drug use began at 15 and you’re chronically addicted to drugs and your offending has been in part to fund your own addiction,” Judge Cooper said.
“The cultural report says you’re a hard-working man but drugs have kept you trapped in a life cycle of recidivism.”
Judge Cooper said he accepted addiction had been a driver of his offending but there was no doubt given the amount of cash involved and methamphetamine found that commercial gain was also a significant factor.
“You were selling a variety of drugs or a smorgasbord of drugs and again that reflects of the commerciality involved.”
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