R v Zhang [2017] NZDC 25779

Published 12 July 2018

Possession of ephedrine for the purpose of supply — supply of ephedrine — drugs — drug dealing — sentencing — R v Wallace and Christie [1999] 3 NZLR 159 (CA). The two defendants were sentenced in relation to possession and supply of a total of 2.7 kg of ephedrine. The first defendant maintained that he did not have anything to do with the offending, and that the only role that he had played was to deliver a cellphone to another person at the request of a friend. The court found that the first defendant was in fact organising both the second defendant and another person. The second defendant admitted that he knew that what he had was ephedrine, but that he did not intend to keep it, that he intended to give the drugs to police and that he was only involved because he was concerned about threats made to his family. Aggravating factors included the quantity of drugs and the commerciality of the enterprise. The court recognised that the defendants had both previous good records, remorse and the fact that the second defendant was suffering from cancer. The first defendant was convicted and sentenced to six years and three months' imprisonment; the second defendant was convicted and sentenced to four years and six months' imprisonment. Judgment Date: 13 November 2017.