Meth dealer dodges prison

Meth dealer: Natasha McCrostie appears by audio visual link in Queenstown's court on July 18

PIJF court reporter

A Cromwell woman has been given a chance to turn her life around after she was caught
dealing methamphetamine and helping an associate manufacture the drug.

Natasha Maree McCrostie, 26, unemployed, was sentenced to seven months’ home detention and two years’ intensive supervision in Queenstown’s court on Monday after admitting charges stemming from nearly 18 months of offending in 2021 and last year.

Queenstown police began a nine-month investigation into the activities of McCrostie and
two associates early last year over suspicions they were manufacturing and distributing

Analysis of her cellphone showed text messages in which she arranged drug sales in August and September of 2020.

In Auckland in March last year, she bought 2.2 litres of acetone — a precursor substance for manufacturing meth — and equipment including digital scales and funnels.

The following month, after pursuing a vehicle linked to the defendant, police found $3500
cash inside it, believed to be the proceeds of drug sales.

A subsequent search of her Queenstown home uncovered a bag in her bedroom containing
$19,800 in cash, although her associate later claimed ownership of the money.

The property had a range of security measures, including a cellphone blocking device
known as a ‘signal jammer’, anti-spy signal software used to detect hidden bugs or trackers, sensors and CCTV cameras around its exterior.

McCrostie’s banking records showed that between November 2020 and March last year, she
received cash deposits, ATM deposits, and cash transfers from locations throughout New

The deposits and transfers totalled $21,640.

Police believed the money to be the proceeds of drug sales.

She was arrested and faced two charges each of possessing material for manufacturing
meth and offering to supply meth, and supplying the drug.

Noting McCrostie had been a daily meth user during her offending, Judge John Brandts-
Giesen told her a non-custodial sentence was a ‘‘community investment in your future’’.

As the mother of a young boy, she should ‘‘grasp with both hands’’ the opportunity he was giving her to get help for her addiction.

‘‘If you fail, the criminal process will become less concerned about your rehabilitation and
more focused on punishment.’’

Other convictions

● Zachary McKenna Duncan, 26, plumber, of Fernhill, assault, May 17, fined $400, reparation $700.

● Alex Bevan Munro, 26, telephone marketer, of Queenstown, aggravated drink-driving
(451mcg) Frankton Road, June 8, fined $500, disqualified 28 days, alcohol interlock provisions, 12 months’ supervision.

● Bohdi James Hardcastle, 28, of Frankton, drink-driving (731mcg), Douglas Street, fined
$800, disqualified seven months.

● Daniel Ronald Lionel Gardiner, 31, farm worker, of Hamilton, speeding, Otorohanga Rd, December 18, fined $300, court costs $130.

● Cameron Graham, 28, of Wānaka, intentional damage, June 27, fined $400, reparation

● Abigail Mary Hay, 41, chef, of Jack’s Point, aggravated drink-driving (452mcg), Berkshire St, May 21, fined $300, 40 hours’ community work.

● Jordan Kees Sinke, 37, unemployed, of Fernhill, intentional damage, June 17, 40 hours’ community work, reparation $486.58.

● Jesse Hare, 29, painter, of Wānaka, aggravated drink-driving (702mcg), Aubrey Rd, April 29, disqualified 28 days, alcohol interlock provisions, three months’ home detention, disqualified indefinitely.

● Henry Roderick John McLennan, 31, of Wānaka, forbidden driving, June 17, Cardrona skifield access road, convicted and discharged.

● Stuart Frederick Bowler, 41, factory worker, of Oamaru, assault, April 24 last year, Wānaka, two months’ prison.


Following a judge-alone trial on Tuesday, Brandts-Giesen found David Vivian Owers, 51, construction supervisor, of Whitianga, not guilty of assault in a family relationship, October 24, at Luggate.

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