International drug sting snags Taranaki grower
A man who ordered cannabis seeds online was caught out as part of an international operation to target the importation of controlled drugs.
Between April and August 2017, Jason Bosson ordered a total of 1821 cannabis seeds from the AliExpress website, which is a service owned by the Chinese-owned online retail giant Alibaba.
Bosson’s offending was picked up in an operation run by Customs New Zealand at the Auckland International Mail Centre, which focussed on the importation of controlled drugs into the country.
A total of seven orders were placed by the 25-year-old, and on the outside of each parcel was a description of either toys or jewellery. The parcels were intercepted by Customs officials when they arrived in the country.
A subsequent search warrant was executed at the defendant’s home on Waihi Rd, Hâwera on October 26.
Two areas in an outside shed on the property were found to be used for growing cannabis. Hydroponic equipment was found along with heat lamps, which were used to germinate the seeds.
A total of 52 cannabis plants were seized during the search.
At Tuesday’s appearance in the Hâwera District Court, Bosson pleaded guilty to charges of importing cannabis seeds and cultivating the class C drug.
Lawyer Julian Hannam said the plants being grown by Bosson were produced for the defendant’s ‘‘high use’’ of the drug.
Sergeant Craig Jones said the defendant’s ongoing drug offending and previous conviction for cultivation were a concern.
He asked for a pre-sentence report to be completed on Bosson to see if anything could be done by way of intervention to prevent further offending.
Judge Chris Sygrove convicted Bosson on the importation charge and fined him $500, plus court costs.
On the cultivation charge, the defendant was convicted and remanded for sentencing on December 6.