Sentence reduced for pair who imported date rape drug

The sentences for two men found guilty of importing a date rape drug with a street value of about $1 million have been reduced by two years by the Court of Appeal.

Glen Raymond Adams and Kaelib Hansen were originally sentenced to 11 years after being caught by police importing 220kg of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) - the chemical used to make fantasy - between October 2005 and January 2006.

Customs officers alerted police the container would be coming into the country and they intercepted it before handing it onto the men - having replaced a significant amount of the Class B drug with water.

Police monitored the men and retrieved the drum after they had buried it near a bush camp outside Whangarei.

The GBL was the largest amount of the drug seized in New Zealand and could produce about 250,000 doses of fantasy.

In their judgment released today, Justices Lester Chisholm, Susan Glazebrook and Mark Cooper said the drug had a "potential street value of $1,000,000 or more", and its wholesale value was around $200,000.

Judge Roy Wade, who originally sentenced the pair in the Whangarei District Court, based his decision on a previous case in which similar quantities of the drug had been imported.

However the justices noted that in that case there were also additional charges of importing GBH and money laundering.

They agreed with Judge Wade that both men "fully intended to make a substantial financial return".

"We have no doubt that this offending called for stern denunciation and a sentence sufficient to deter not only the appellants but others."

They quashed the men's 11-year sentences and imposed sentences of nine years with a minimum non-parole period of 4-1/2 years.

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