Tripping on acid at Queenstown zoo


A TOURIST tripping on acid has denied stealing a fake egg from Queenstown’s bird life park.

Australian Zachary Ian Beal, 23, pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft when he appeared at Queenstown District Court on Tuesday. 

Beal said the $120 egg must have fallen into his pocket when he visited Kiwi Birdlife Park, Brecon Street, on January 23. 

Beal did admit possession of the class A drug LSD and says it was for personal use.

Judge Michael Turner heard the egg was recovered intact and police withdrew the charge of theft.

“Your behaviour at the park where you took the egg and intended to keep it, you were under the influence of the substance and it’s only going to get you in trouble,” Judge Turner says. 

Beal was convicted of possession and fined $500. 

Drug dealers’ home detention
Two drug dealers caught in a police undercover sting have been sentenced to home detention. 

Wanaka men Campbell Blair Smith, 28, and Daimon Jon Schwalger, 41, were arrested in Southern Police’s Operation Viking.

The five-month undercover bust targeted the flow of party drugs through the lakeside resort town.

A total of eight men were arrested on December 1.

Schwalger – a popular DJ known as The Nomad – and Smith, who is a beekeeper, were described as low-level dealers who were merely “hooking up friends” by their respective lawyers when they admitted the charges in court on December 17.

At sentencing in Queenstown District Court on Tuesday, Schwalger was sentenced to four months’ home detention on three charges.

Smith was sentenced to eight months’ home detention on three charges.

On August 10, Schwalger offered to supply ecstasy (MDMA) to an undercover police officer and then sold six capsules of the Class B drug to the officer on August 13, the court heard.

When police then searched his home, they found 10 grams of cannabis in a jar in his kitchen. 

Smith pleaded guilty to three charges.

Smith sold five tabs of LSD to an undercover officer on August 31 for $120, then four capsules of ecstasy on September 10 to the undercover officer for $240, the court heard.

Smith had also admitted in a police interview selling two capsules of ecstasy to an unknown female friend, priced at $60 each.

The other six men arrested are at various stages of being processed through the courts.

Other convictions
Queenstown bouncer Nathan John Wallis, 34, was sentenced to four months’ home detention after being caught driving while disqualified on Lake Esplanade on January 15.

Wallis was also disqualified from driving for one year and one month, and his vehicle was confiscated.

For breaching his community work sentence, Wallis was sentenced to one-month home detention but will serve it during the other four months.

Chinese driver Jun Li, 35, was convicted of careless driving causing injury.

Cyclist Mark Price was injured on Te Anau-Milford Rd on January 10. Li was disqualified for six months, fined $350 and order to make emotional harm reparation of $200 to Price.

Queenstown chef Michael Bernard Donovan, 45, was convicted of drink-driving with a breath alcohol level of 1006 micrograms. 

The legal limit is 400mcg. Donovan was disqualified for six months and fined $1100. He’d been stopped by police on Malaghans Road on January 25.

Southbridge driver Canyi Lin was caught drink-driving on York St, Queenstown, on February 4.

Lin was disqualified for six months and fined $550.

Lake Hayes stonemason Ben Joe Meek, 29, was sentenced to nine months’ supervision after admitting a theft charge relating to $1152 of someone else’s property.

Frankton waiter Daniel Day Crow, 22, was fined $250 and convicted of possession of a cannabis instrument, on February 8.