A street-level drug dealer offering to supply Ecstasy was actually selling party pills, the High Court at Christchurch was told at his sentencing.
Thirty-nine-year-old former security officer Patrick John O’Leary will serve a year on home detention for his drug dealing.
The sentence was imposed by Justice Cameron Mander after O’Leary admitted 10 charges.
Justice Mander told him he was only getting home detention because he had no previous convictions. Any further offending was likely to bring a jail term.
O’Leary had admitted offering to supply the class A drug cocaine, four of offering to supply the class B drug MDMA (Ecstasy), one of offering to supply amphetamine, possession of BZP – formerly known as party pills – for sale, and three charges of dealing in cannabis.
Justice Mander said O’Leary was a street-level dealer operating at a relatively minor commercial level, with a range of drugs. He was caught by police surveillance over a six-week period during the Operation Hook investigation.
Scientific testing then established that the pills he was selling purporting to be Ecstasy turned out to by BZP, which were previously known as party pills. They were made illegal class C drugs several years ago.
O’Leary had been in employment and had the support of his family, a factor which would help him avoid future involvement in offending, said the judge.
Defence counsel Tony Garrett said O’Leary had previously been licensed as a security agent but he would not apply to renew his certificate of approval.