Selling drugs to school pupils lands woman in prison

A woman who dealt cannabis to Alexandra teens as young as 13 has been jailed for 23 months.

Harriet Patricia Magon (26), unemployed, of Christchurch (living in Alexandra at the time of the offending) was found with cannabis with a street value of $12,500 at the time of her arrest in Alexandra in June.

She appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Alexandra District Court yesterday on representative charges of supplying cannabis to persons aged under 18, supplying to persons aged over 18, and a charge of possession of cannabis for supply.

Judge Turner read the summary of facts in court and said that in mid-June 2020 police became aware of cannabis use in a group of high school pupils aged as young as 13.

Generally one 14-year-old girl would co-ordinate the dealing by sending Magon a text message for herself or on behalf of other teens.

Occasionally other teens aged between 13 and 17 would contact Magon to buy cannabis.

The cannabis was sold in $50 bags, each containing about 2g; teens often pooled money to buy it and share among themselves.

Magon had come to live in Alexandra with family including a 13-year-old niece at the start of 2020. Text messages and bank records showed Magon sold cannabis from February 1 to the time of her arrest on June 24.

Between March 25 and June 24, direct payments to Magon’s bank account showed she sold cannabis to under-18s at least 19 times.

Regarding supply to over-18s, texts and bank records showed she sold cannabis from July 1, 2019 to the time of her arrest at least 64 times.

At 4.30pm on June 24, Magon returned to Alexandra from Canterbury in her car alone.

When she got to Alexandra she went to a flat in Royal Tce where there were teens and no adults.

Police followed her into the flat with a search warrant, and in her car officers found 450g of cannabis broken down into 16 bags.

Police then searched Magon’s address and found a ‘‘tick’’ list outlining money owed to her — many of the teens she had been identified as dealing to were on the list and there were hundreds of unused snap-lock bags.

When spoken to by police, Magon denied having a car and then having keys to the car and claimed the cannabis was for personal use.

In sentencing Magon, Judge Turner said her offending occurred while she was before the courts on methamphetamine charges and ruled out home detention as an option.

He said the amount of cannabis Magon was found to be in possession of had a street value of $12,500 and the evidence against her was ‘‘overwhelming’’, before sentencing her to 1 year and 11 months’ jail.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter