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A freezing worker who ran a drug-delivery business around Mosgiel will be confined to his home for the next six months.
Glen Adrian Hibbs (22) pleaded guilty to possessing class-C drugs for sale and selling such substances.
In the Dunedin District Court yesterday, Judge John Macdonald sentenced him to six months' home detention and 150 hours' community work for the illegal enterprise.
Hibbs was originally charged with dealing in MDMA (or ecstasy), which is a class-B substance, but analysis of what he was selling found it was actually 4-chloropentedrone - a class-C designer drug.
Court documents said it came in the form of a white powder and had effects similar to MDMA.
They stated such drugs were commonly imported across the border from overseas sellers via the dark web.
Police could not confirm where Hibbs sourced the illicit material.
On November 20, the defendant was in his Mitsubishi at the Z service station in Mosgiel where he was spoken to by police on an unrelated matter.
Officers searched his vehicle and found 6.9g of the class-C drug, a set of digital scales, 13 plastic self-sealing bags and $625 cash.
Hibbs essentially over-incriminated himself, telling them it was MDMA.
He claimed he had been dealing for the past week.
However, when police obtained the man's cellphone data they found he had been offering the drugs around since October.
Text messages showed Hibbs had attempted to set up seven sales to four different people over the three-week period.
The value of the drugs police found on him was $1350 but could have been twice that if marketed as ecstasy, a summary stated.
Defence counsel Marie Taylor-Cyphers said her client had a supportive family and employer.
Despite his being sentenced to home detention, freezing works bosses were keen to keep Hibbs on, the court heard.
A Probation report assessed him as a low risk of reoffending and high likelihood of successfully completing his community-based sentence.
Judge Macdonald said Hibbs had previous convictions but none featured drugs.
Although the defendant used his car to commit some of the offending, he decided not to impose a driving ban.
The cash found on Hibbs during the search was forfeited to the Crown.