On-the-run Rollie Heke jailed
After a year on the run Rollie Heke - who was recently the subject of a nationwide police search after he allegedly fired at three Police officers in Morrinsville - has been jailed for five years and five months on outstanding drugs charges.
Heke was charged with importing methamphetamine and conspiracy to import during Operation Gandalf which ran between 2012 and 2014 focussing on a drug ring being run from Rimutaka Prison.
He and other prisoners had arranged importations from Thailand from behind bars.
But after he pleaded guilty in 2016 he was given electronic bail to attend a drug rehabilitation programme but cut off the monitoring equipment and went on the run.
While in prison Heke had used his own mother as a go-between, using her to pay for information that led to the importing, and to receive a package from Thailand that had 100g of methamphetamine in it.
A second importation was being planned when he was arrested.
His lawyer Mark Ryan said Heke was no more than a buyer.
At the High Court in Wellington Justice Karen Clark jailed him on Friday saying it had gone beyond the usual importation by being organised while Heke - and others - were in prison.
Heke had been serving a sentence for dealing methamphetamine at the time.
Police searched for Heke, 36, after he allegedly fired at three police officers with a semiautomatic, military-style weapon after a short police pursuit ended on Kuranui Rd on the outskirts of Morrinsville, in the early hours of August 13.
Heke now faces eight new charges in total - three of attempting to murder a police officer, possession of a semiautomatic firearm, possession of ammunition, failure to stop and two charges of possession of equipment to manufacture methamphetamine.
He was due back in court on those charges this week.
During the search for Heke, tear gas canisters were fired at a home in Studholme St as part of a search warrant on the property, as police hunted for Heke.
He was eventually caught in August at a house in the Kaingaroa Forest township.
He was returned to Wellington to face the long outstanding methamphetamine charges.
Rollie James Heke, being sentenced in the High Court at Wellington