Posted by Waikato Police on 20/12/2012
Reflecting on the sentencing of two Coromandel men to over 17-years-imprisonement on drugs charges, Waikato Police believe the sentencings should prove a clear deterrent to would be offenders that crime doesn't pay.
Detective Sergeant Glenn Tinsley of the Waihi CIB said the sentencing of 57-year-old Tairua man, Steven John Mehrtens, was almost the final chapter of Operation Acacia, a joint Waikato-Auckland investigation which ran between November 2009 and May 2010.
"Mehrtens man had been preying on the local Coromandel community causing untold damage through his manufacturing, dealing and selling of methamphetamine over a prolonged period of time.
"Thanks to a good combination of thorough investigative work and assistance from the public, this man was able to be held to account and was sentenced in the Auckland High Court yesterday to 17-years-nine-months imprisonment."
Charged in May 2010, Mehrtens was granted electronic bail but cut off his monitored bracelet and fled before his court hearing in December 2010.
Convicted in absentia for conspiracy to supply, dealing, manufacturing and selling methamphetamine, the man was captured in September by Police investigating the June murder of Paeroa businessman Jordan Voudouris.
"His co-accused, 50-year-old Waihi man, Scott Warren Filer, was also sentenced to over 17-years imprisonment in February this year and Eastern Waikato Police would like to think that the successful prosecution of this pair will send a message to others who choose to get involved in the methamphetamine scene."
In November the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Filer who is also awaiting the outcome of a Police application to strip him of considerable assets alleged to have been accumulated through illicit drug dealing.
"After seeing this result surely you would have to be a moron to think it was worth your while being involved in the manufacture and sale of methamphetamine," said Mr Tinsley.
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