Drug dealer led high-speed chase

Invercargill District Court.

AN Invercargill shearer who used his social media account to sell drugs also went on a high-speed chase through Invercargill, travelling up to 120kmh in a 50kmh zone near a school.

The 35-year-old man, who has name suppression, last Tuesday admitted three charges of offering to sell cannabis, three representative charges of supplying methamphetamine and three representative charges of offering to supply methamphetamine, driving while forbidden, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police.

The charges related to offending between December 24, 2020, and January 18 this year.

In his appearance before Judge Russell Walker in the Invercargill District Court last Tuesday, 45 of the man’s charges were withdrawn by police and replaced with three representative charges.

The summary of facts says the man was arrested on March 25, 2021.

“During the arrest process property was removed from the defendant including his cellular phone which was being held in his hand at the time,” the summary says.

Despite him putting the phone on flight mode so they could not access information, police obtained a search warrant to get the phone forensically examined, in particular the man’s social media messaging.

It revealed he was in regular contact with a number of associates with a large proportion of the messages relating to consumption and sourcing methamphetamine, the summary says.

At about 2.30pm on December 8 last year, mobile patrols were being conducted by police.

The man, who was disqualified from driving in March 2020, was seen seated in a car before pulling away slowly.

When police initiated red and blue flashing lights and activated the siren, he accelerated at speed in excess of 80kmh, after taking a wide berth at the intersection of John and Conyers Sts to get around a corner at speed he then accelerated to speeds estimated at 120kmh, the summary says.

“The vehicle was observed wobbling on the road due to excessive speed while driving past St Patrick’s Primary School with children in attendance.”

Police then abandoned the chase.

Judge Walker remanded the man in custody to appear for sentence on April 26.