Dean Waka Nathan was wrong if he thought he had
nothing to lose by dealing in methamphetamine
from inside Christchurch Men's Prison, where he
is serving a life sentence.
The 20-year jail
term he was given today has a minimum non-parole
period attached that will delay his first parole
hearing for at least five years. He will not be
considered by the Parole Board until 2019.
methamphetamine supply charge he admitted
carries a maximum term of life imprisonment, the
Christchurch Court News website reported.
District Court Judge Philip Moran ruled today
that Nathan was the kingpin of a conspiracy that
brought an estimated $1.8 million of the
dangerous class A drug down from Auckland for
sale in Christchurch.
It was broken by
the police's Operation Fudge investigation.
Crystal-clear recordings of phone calls by
Nathan arranging the drug deals were played to a
hearing at the court last month.
Nathan, 43, had
admitted dealing in the drug, and conspiracy,
but he denied that he was central to the dealing
and said he had only arranged one supply run to
However, after a
disputed facts hearing, Judge Moran found that
Nathan had been the "ringmaster" of the group
and had used an illicit cellphone at the prison
to arrange eight drug-buying trips to Auckland
by a drug courier who was sometimes carrying
$100,000 in cash.
Nathan is serving
a life term for his part in the drive-by gang
killing by Highway 61 members of a Black Power
rival, Max Shannon. He was found guilty in a
2001 trial in the High Court at Christchurch.
The judge today
described Nathan's claim that he only arranged
one deal as "self-serving damage control".
Boshier said no cumulative sentence could be
imposed on the life term that Nathan was already
serving but the crown sought a minimum
non-parole term that would prove to him that he
had been wrong to think he had nothing to lose.
Tim Fournier said that the sentence suggested by
the crown was too high, though he accepted that
there needed to be an increase because Nathan
was a serving prisoner.
Judge Moran noted
many details in the recorded phone calls which
pointed to an on-going operation. Nathan was the
common factor and the person who brought
together the others who were involved.
These included a
relative, a friend, his partner, and a woman who
had borne him a son.
made to the drug courier going to Auckland "with
the same person" or hiding the money "in the
same place", indicating a continuing operation.
He estimated the
courier made eight trips, and one where the deal
fell through because the supplier became worried
that he was under surveillance. The drugs
involved would have been worth $1.8m on the
streets, causing destruction and misery to those
caught up and addicted to it.
It also caused
harm to the victims of the thefts and burglaries
carried out by addicts who stole to feed their