A teenage drug dealer embraced his tearful family in the
Queenstown District Court yesterday after being sentenced to
two years and two months' jail.
After delivering the sentence, Judge Michael Turner invited
Monty Archie Vass (19) to ''say goodbye'' to his family.
Vass, a kitchen-hand, was one of three Wanaka ''street
level'' drug dealers jailed yesterday afternoon.
Daniel Miller (30) was sentenced to two years and 10 months,
while Daarian Akuhata Wira (18) was sentenced to 16 months.
All three were arrested in Operation Viking, carried out by
the Southern Police District.
The five-month undercover operation targeted the flow of
party drugs through the town.
Officers intercepted text messages and phone calls and set up
stings using undercover police officers.
A total of eight men were arrested on December 1.
Vass pleaded guilty to 22 charges.
The lead charge was for selling 2g of class B prohibited drug
MDMA, known as Ecstasy, to an undercover special operations
constable for $900 on September 13.
Vass also admitted eight charges of offering to sell class C
drug cannabis, seven charges of offering to sell class C drug
Ritalin - normally used to treat attention deficit disorder -
and other charges of procuring Ritalin, cannabis and MDMA,
conspiring to sell MDMA, and twice offering to sell MDMA, all
between July and October last year.
Judge Turner told Vass, ''When I sentence you today, I need
to denounce your behaviour and deter you and others in the
community from dealing drugs.
I also need to consider the protection of the community from
you because drug dealing harms the community.''
Judge Turner made similar comments when sentencing both
Miller and Wira.
The three cases were heard separately.
Miller, a plasterer, pleaded guilty to 27 charges relating to
selling class A, B and C prohibited drugs.
All charges stemmed from intercepted and examined text
messages, which detailed Miller offering to sell LSD on three
occasions, as well as MDMA and various quantities of cannabis
up to an ounce at a time.
He was also charged with procuring $150 worth of Ritalin and
conspiracy to sell cannabis.
Wira was given leave to apply to vary his sentence to home
A suitable address could not be found before his appearance
He pleaded guilty to two charges of offering to sell class C
drugs, Ritalin and cannabis, and one charge of offering to
sell the class B drug MDMA.
He had been approached by an undercover officer in a Wanaka
bar on September 5 and agreed to sell 1g of MDMA for $450,
although the transaction never occurred.
Wira also admitted resisting arrest and threatening to injure
a police officer on New Year's Eve.
Judge Turner also cancelled a previous community work
sentence, sentenced Wira for breaching it and resentenced him
on a burglary charge and a disorderly behaviour charge.
Judge Turner accepted all three men were street-level
dealers, with Vass and Miller dealing to support their own