On-the-run Rol­lie Heke jailed

Piako Post - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTERS

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.

STUFF

Rol­lie James Heke, be­ing sen­tenced in the High Court at Welling­ton

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