A meth cook caught up in a raid that seized a fleet of luxury cars and more than $12 million of assets has been jailed for nearly 16 years.
She had only been out of prison three months for similar offending before joining in the manufacture of the drug, a court heard today.
Shannon Stevens appeared in the High Court at Auckland having pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges related to the commercial-scale production of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of firearms, and using fake IDs to set up storage units for operation.
She was one of the leading members of a group of eight caught up in a nationwide police operation in 2014 which uncovered P labs, a fleet of 17 cars - including a Maserati, a Porsche and a Ferrari - along with illegal firearms and commercial-scale quantities of the drug and materials needed to make it.
The court heard how Stevens had only been out of prison for a few months when she became involved in the group, which included known Head Hunters gang members and had created a fake identity to find them spaces to produce the drug.
In handing down the sentence of 15 years and 9 months - with no parole for nearly eight years - Justice Timothy Brewer said he had little choice based on previous cases and the need to denounce her repeat offending.
"You have chosen to tread a well-worn path," he said.
He acknowledged her serious drug addiction and the fact the sentence was a significant one for a person in their mid-30s, but said she had taken some degree of leadership in the group and that had to be reflected.
In 2005, Stevens was sentenced to six years in prison for manufacturing drugs after being on the run for 10 months.
The group's alleged ringleaders, Michael and Victoria Cavanagh are due to be sentenced in October.