Wire cops nab another


Another cannabis dealer caught red-handed after arranging deals via text messages has been sentenced.

Kingstyn Matthews-Moerai, 21, was arrested by Queenstown cops after they analysed data from his mobile phone records.

The data showed he regularly sold cannabis in amounts ranging from 50-gram bags to full ounces.

About a dozen dealers have been sentenced in the last 12 months, with cops using text messages as their main evidence.

Queenstown detectives have so far declined to comment directly on the cases as they continue to bring alleged dealers before the courts.

Matthews-Moerai, employed as a housekeeper, admitted possessing and offering to sell the class-C controlled drug between February 1 and the end of September last year.

Judge Michael Turner, at Queenstown District Court on Monday afternoon, sentenced him to seven months’ home detention and 70 hours’ community work.

Turner took into account the defendant’s youth, lack of previous convictions and early guilty plea.