Teen’s gangster dreams lead to drug charges
A Porirua teen’s dreams of being a high-flying gangster will take him to court after being caught with a kilogram of synthetic drugs.
The 17-year-old from Cannons Creek is being held in custody after police smelt cannabis at his house while checking he was sticking to bail conditions on earlier charges.
Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Ferguson, of Ka¯piti-Mana police, said officers searched the place on October 24 and found about a kilogram of synthetic drugs along with an empty bag of leaves from the damiana plant (a wild shrub from Mexico), a tin of acetone solvent and other instruments used to make the drug.
The arrest came just a month after three young children, also from Porirua, were taken to Wellington Hospital near-comatose after possibly eating synthetic drugs by accident. They have since made full recoveries.
Ferguson said the teen, who was already facing charges in Porirua District Court related to firearms and synthetic drug supply, was young and egotistical.
‘‘At this level, it’s rare to find someone so young and persistent. This particular person has some grandiose ideas that are driving their behaviour - some sort of big American gangster sort of thing.’’
Synthetic drugs are basically made by spraying chemicals onto leaves, which can then be smoked.
The drug, typically more potent and cheaper than cannabis is a growing problem nationally.
Officers previously executed search warrants at four properties at Cannons Creek in September and found more than 2 kilograms of synthetic drugs as well as two shotguns, a large amount of ammunition, two rifles and cash.
‘‘The harm associated with them reaches far further than the physical affects of the drugs themselves and manifests itself in behaviours such as family violence,’’ Ferguson said. ‘‘The area of most concern for me is the children and, as we have seen children as young as five have been affected by it.’’
Police were working with schools to educate students about the risks, he said.
Detective Senior Sergeant Neil Holden from the Wellington Child Protection Team said medical staff had told police the children who ingested the drug, family members aged 5, 8 and 13, had since made a full recovery.
‘‘Police are still progressing around how the children ingested the substance and hoping to resolve this as practically possible.’’
Synthetic drugs have killed about 20 people in New Zealand this year.