Wellington.Scoop » Seven years in prison for importing and selling illegal drugs


New Zealand Police News
A man was sentenced in Wellington District Court today to 7½ years in prison for importing and supplying illegal drugs.

Justin Rankin, 36, was arrested in November 2020 and charged with possession of 400 liters of Gamma Butyrolactone (GBL) and supplying an additional 1,800 liters of GBL over a three-year period.

The seizure of 400 liters of GBL in November 2020 remains the largest recorded domestic seizure of GBL in New Zealand.

A joint investigation was opened in August 2020 between New Zealand Customs and the Wellington Police Drugs and Organized Crime Team into the importation and supply of the Class B controlled drug Gamma Butyrolactone (GBL) and the Class C controlled drug Eutylone.

Street names for GBL include G, fantasy, flush, and liquid ecstasy. Eutylone is an amphetamine-like substance (ATS) and is sold under the name ecstasy.

During the investigation, 42 search warrants were executed across the North Island, with more than 20 people in court facing a total of 192 charges.

Senior Detective Sergeant Hamish Blackburn said: “This operation has caused significant disruption to the illicit drug market and the seizure of such a huge amount of GBL has had a positive impact in preventing harm, and our communities are thus more sure.

“In tandem with the ‘High Alert’ drug warning system (https://highalert.org.nz/(link is external)) which was activated in November 2020 identifying this issue, the investigation has had an impact significant on the activity of this union and the associates the evil has cycled in our communities.

The investigation revealed that more than 7,000 liters of GBL had been imported into New Zealand over the past three years, with New Zealand Customs seizing significant quantities of the drug during the investigation. According to the knowyourstuff.nz website, a standard dose of GBL is between 0.9ml and 1.5ml, which is between 4,600 and 7,800 individual doses of the harmful drug.

The New Zealand Drug Harm Index identifies the harm of these drugs to the community at over $1 billion (NZ Drug Harm Index 2016). The market value of the GBL in question is estimated at $28,000,000.

The police would like to thank customs and their other partners and agencies for their contribution to this successful operation.

Customs Investigations Manager Cam Moore said it was extremely satisfying to dismantle such a large drug smuggling operation.

“The success of these investigations relies on the excellent working relationship between Customs, New Zealand Police and our partner agencies,” says Cam Moore.

Content sourced from scoop.co.nz
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