Queenstown man jailed over $200k meth bust

A Queenstown man arrested after drug busts in which police recovered $200,000 worth of methamphetamine and more than $30,000 in cash has been jailed. 

Ned Edward Reo Webster (36) appeared in the Invercargill District Court yesterday, where he was sentenced for two drug-related incidents.

In December last year, police found in his car a firearm, two glass pipes, 198g of cannabis and a plastic container with a white crystal substance, about the size of a golf ball.

After being advised by the officer that police would search his car for illegal drugs, he uplifted the container and threw the contents up in the air and over the grass.

He faced seven charges in relation to this matter — one count of assaulting police, one of possessing a needle-syringe for drug use, two counts of unlawfully possessing a firearm, one for possessing for supply cannabis plant, another for possessing for supply methamphetamine and one for wilfully obstructing a police officer.

In relation to the second incident, he faced two charges: possession of cannabis plant and possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of supply.

On June 10, Queenstown police executed a drug search warrant at his house and found two sealed plastic bags containing 2.91g and 3.30g respectively of white crystal methamphetamine. Police said these had a street value ranging from $245,000 to $295,000.

They also found 33g of cannabis in a container, 30g of loose cannabis plant material, $33,090 in cash, digital scales, a cellphone and sim cards.

There were several surveillance cameras at the house and Webster was on bail, being electronically monitored at the time.

Judge Phillips acknowledged the support from his family and friends in court, but said ‘‘the community needs to be protected’’.

He sentenced him to six years and four months in prison and to pay reparation of $809.60 to the police in relation to a damaged car.

The judge also issued a destruction order for the electronic devices and digital scales.