Police tasers ended up with drug dealer

Three police-issue tasers went missing during transport and ended up under the bed of a small scale Christchurch drugs dealer.

The police said the weapons went missing between May and October while being transported. They have accepted that although the tasers each had two cartridges in their case, they were non-operational.

The 22-year-old Riccarton householder, Jack Anaru Waitoa, a roofer, today admitted the charge of unlawful possession of the restricted weapons.

At his appearance in the Christchurch District Court before Judge Joanne Maze, Waitoa also admitted charges of possession of cannabis for supply, possession of one ecstasy pill, and a pipe for smoking cannabis.

The police said they searched the property because of a cannabis smell, and found 22.65g of the drug, the pipe, and the pill. They also found scales, and resealable plastic bags. Waitoa admitted that he sold cannabis to six or seven friends to fund his own use of the drug.

They found the three X2 police tasers in a case under Waitoa’s bed.

He explained that an associate had come to the flat with the tasers and he thought it best to take them off him because he was “unstable and did not know what he was going to do with them”.

Waitoa then foolishly put them under the bed and left them for months and never gave them a thought, instead of handing them to the police. They were non-operational because their battery packs did not work.

Judge Maze said Waitoa had been frank about his drug use, and had now arranged for his own counselling through the City Mission. She took into account his explanation that he had no intention of using the tasers. They were not linked to his drug offending, and he had no previous convictions under the Misuse of Drugs Act or the Arms Act. It was unlikely he would be back before the courts.

She imposed 100 hours of community work, and six months of supervision during which he will have to complete drug and alcohol counselling, or any other course required. She ordered destruction or forfeiture of the drugs and equipment.