Dunedin drug smugglers' post box scam

Two young men helped another man import thousands of dollars of illegal drugs by opening post boxes in false names, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

Taine Mita Piriru Edwards, 18, unemployed, of Dunedin, allowed one of his flatmates to arrange for a post box to be opened in a fictitious name for 12 months at the Green Island Post Shop on November 18, police prosecutor Tim Hambleton told the court.

A week later, a second flatmate, 20-year-old chef Jacob Shane Moore, also agreed to having a post box opened in a false name at the Gardens Post Shop.

The other man, the alleged main offender, provided a New Zealand driver's licence in a fictitious name with Moore's photograph. He also provided $155 cash to pay for the box.

Moore knew the box was to receive controlled drugs. He inspected it once for a package which was expected but which did not arrive.

The other man ordered drugs from clandestine websites and arranged for their delivery to the various post boxes. He would wait for the packages and periodically check the boxes. Edwards also checked the Green Island post box, Mr Hambleton said.

Between Christmas Day and January 7, the other man picked up 50 tabs of LSD with a street value of $2000 from the Green Island post box.

On January 12, 7.8g of methamphetamine with a $7800 street value was intercepted at the international mail centre in Auckland. The drug package was addressed to the alias and was sent to Edwards' post box.

Edwards yesterday admitted joint charges of importing a class A drug, namely lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) between December 25 and January 7 and importing methamphetamine, a class A drug, on January 12.

He was convicted and remanded on bail for sentence on May 21.

Moore pleaded guilty to conspiring with the other man to import a class C controlled drug into New Zealand on November 26.

He was also remanded on bail for sentence on May 21 but no conviction was entered against him. His counsel, Nathan Laws, said Moore wished to apply for a discharge without conviction.

By Otago Daily Times court reporter

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