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Killer Beez drug dealers jailed

Wednesday 24 Nov 2010 2:34 p.m.

The men were among 44 people arrested in a major South Auckland drug operation

The men were among 44 people arrested in a major South Auckland drug operation

Three men have been jailed for their part in a south Auckland drug ring run by the notorious Killer Beez gang.

Ming Hong Nguyen, Richard Charles Hemapo, Anthony Farac and Raymond Pona were found guilty of a raft of methamphetamine-related charges in a jury trial in the High Court at Auckland in September.

They were among 44 people convicted following a major police operation in south Auckland in 2008 in which hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine were seized and 48 people arrested, including Killer Beez president Josh Masters.

Justice John Priestley said Nguyen, 37, was by far and away the most involved of the four offenders who appeared today. At short notice, he supplied large quantities of methamphetamine to Masters totalling 336 grams.

He was jailed for nine years and three months with a minimum non-parole period of four years and six months.

Justice Priestley said Nguyen's attempts to avoid responsibility were "feeble".

He had claimed a security camera aimed at his house was to stop people stealing shoes, and that coded messages in which he talked about "friends" were not references to drugs, but to Asian prostitutes supplied to Masters.

Hemapo, 36, who was convicted on three counts of supplying methamphetamine, was sentenced to three years and four months imprisonment. He has 93 previous convictions.

He supplied P to high-ranking drug dealers within the Killer Beez, organised by text messages in which he referred to "raw fish" and "crates".

There was some dispute about whether a message stating "crate of raw fish for 12 5" was a reference to $12,500 worth of methamphetamine -- the street price for an ounce of the drug -- or to 12.5 grams of P.

Farac, who was convicted on 10 counts of supplying methamphetamine, was not a member of the Killer Beez but brought them customers in exchange for drugs which he used to feed his own addiction.

Justice Priestly said had he pleaded guilty before the trial he would have been a free man but instead he sentenced him to two years and eight months in jail.

Pona, 34, took part in a number of small drug deals and was sentenced to nine months' home detention and 200 hours of community work.

Justice Priestley said the four men were all, in effect, cogs in an organisation run by the Killer Beez.

"Some were bigger cogs than others, but none were real movers and shakers," he said.

Masters is due to be sentenced later this month.

NZPA

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