After receiving hugs and handshakes from his family and
removing his tie, belt and suit jacket, a convicted Wanaka
drug dealer was led to the cells yesterday to begin a
32-month prison sentence.
Oscar Jimmy Gold Arlidge (28) had previously admitted seven
charges laid under the Misuse of Drugs Act, stemming from an
undercover police operation, dubbed Viking, last year.
The operation, carried out by Otago Rural CIB staff with
support from the Southern District organised crime squad,
targeted the sale and supply of class A and B drugs to the
Arlidge was charged with supplying class A-controlled LSD on
September 14, 2013; offering to supply class B-controlled
MDMA on September 13; supplying LSD and class B-controlled
MDMA on September 20; offering to supply LSD on October 5;
and offering to supply LSD and class C-controlled cannabis to
a person over the age of 18 on October 24, all at Wanaka.
In the Queenstown District Court yesterday, defence counsel
Fiona Guy-Kidd said Arlidge had ''specifically asked'' her to
tell the judge it had been a ''life-changing process'' and
''no matter what the outcome today, that has been a positive
experience for him''.
''He is sincerely sorry.''
Ms Guy-Kidd said Arlidge was a heavy user of LSD and ecstasy
and ''got caught up in the party lifestyle''.
''He did not really think of the consequences of what he was
doing; it was the biggest mistake of his life.''
Arlidge began using drugs in his ''pre-teen years'' and
continued until his arrest last year.
Since that time Arlidge had attended Narcotics Anonymous, had
sought counselling and had completed a Salvation Army Bridge
He had also ''disassociated himself from that party scene
Ms Guy-Kidd said at the time it was not known he suffered
She said sending him to prison could ''divert him from his
Crown Prosecutor Michael Morris said the defendant had
''supplied large quantities of class A drugs - on two
occasions he sold 100 tabs, four times the [presumptive level
of dealing], which is 25 tabs''.
Mr Morris said the previously undiagnosed ADHD did not mean a
reduction in ''moral culpability''.
''It can't logically be said to be causative for the
defendant selling significant amounts of LSD over a prolonged
period. He knew it was wrong at the time he was selling.''
Judge Michael Turner said Arlidge had sold 100 tabs on one
occasion, and offered to sell another 100 on another.
However, those were analysed and found not to be LSD.
He received about $4000 in total for the sale of LSD. He also
supplied 3.5g of ecstasy and offered to supply more, making
about $1500 from the sale of that drug, and further offered
''ounces'' of cannabis.
Judge Turner said it was clear from the numerous references
received Arlidge had a ''loving and supportive family'', was
hard-working and had a ''morally sound upbringing''.
After he moved to Wanaka in May last year to work as a
snowmaker, his employment ended after a snowboarding
Following the accident Arlidge became involved in
Ultimately he decided to stop selling drugs, completed a
course in Wellington and intended to move to Australia for
work. He was arrested three days before leaving New Zealand.
Judge Turner said he accepted part of the motivation for
selling drugs was to supplement or support his own addiction
and while reports indicated it was likely he suffered ADHD,
he did not believe the condition ''necessarily explains your
decision to deal drugs''.
Aggravating factors included the premeditation involved in
his offending and that he was ''forensically aware''.
Arlidge was careful not to conduct business over the phone or
via text message, and established a ''code'' - to ''catch up
for a beer'' was code for a meeting to discuss a deal.
On one occasion Arlidge supplied drugs in a plastic bag but
asked an undercover officer to take possession of them in a
different bag to ''eliminate the risk of fingerprints being
He met the undercover officer at a variety of locations,
showing planning, Judge Turner said.
''It was premeditated, planned and carefully orchestrated.''
Mitigating factors included his guilty plea and willingness
to rehabilitate, but he was aware his actions were ''morally
and legally wrong''.
From a starting point of four years and seven months
imprisonment, Judge Turner reduced the sentence to two years
eight months on each of the charges involving LSD.
He was also sentenced to one year and five months for
offering to sell ecstasy and one year for offering to sell
cannabis, all to be served concurrently.