An online drug dealer says he just never thought that the Christchurch Police might be Facebooking like everyone else.
His cannabis dealing on social media has landed him a nine-month home detention sentence in the Christchurch District Court and another 60 hours of community work added to 85 hours he is still doing from an earlier sentence.
Levi Cheyenne Dronsfield, 24, labourer, was said by the police to have connections with the King Cobras gang when he was among three people arrested in a raid on a home in Seaview Road, New Brighton, in August 2017.
Police said three people lived at the property, which was equipped with an extensive security system.
Dronsfield pleaded guilty in October to charges of selling cannabis, unlawful possession of a 9mm revolver, two charges of unlawful possession of ammunition, and obstructing a constable.
Dronsfield had been offering on social media throughout 2017 to drop off $50 bags of cannabis if buyers contacted him by texting his cellphone.
When police seized his cellphone in the 5.40am raid on August 31, they found that more than 20 sales had been arranged, with Dronsfield doing the drop-offs in a red BMW.
Defence counsel Peter Dyhrberg said the offending happened at a time when Dronsfield was on a benefit and under financial pressure.
Judge David Saunders pointed out that he had been using Facebook to advertise his wares.
“It was fairly obvious what was going on,” said Mr Dyhrberg. “Hence the prompt resolution (of the charges).”
Judge Saunders asked Dronsfield: “Don’t you know that the police, like anybody else, can get into Facebook and look at what people are saying and doing? Did you know that at the time?”
Dronsfield replied: “At the time, I didn’t really think about it.”
Judge Saunders recalled a case from last year when someone had carried out a commercial burglary and then posted a picture on Facebook of the safe that had been stolen in the boot of the car. (That Facebook posting, by a different offender, is shown with the article.)
In that case, the offender had been “skiting on Facebook”.
“It is almost tantamount to saying, ‘Come around and arrest me.’ It’s pretty stupid isn’t it?” said the judge.
He said the courts frowned heavily on people who were caught with firearms and drugs. They were seriously under consideration for a jail sentence.
He decided in this case that home detention could be allowed, but he warned Dronsfield that if there were any breaches of the sentence or further offending, he would be sent to prison.
Mr Dyhrberg said Dronsfield had recently held a job for a short period and he was going to another job interview this week if his sentence allowed.
Two other people were charged after the raid and their cases are still being dealt with by the courts.