Bandidos drug smuggler sentenced to 15 years' prison

  • 27/02/2018

A Bandidos gang member will spend up to 15 years in prison after being busted smuggling a large haul of methamphetamine and cocaine into New Zealand.

Adrian Le'Ca had earlier pleaded guilty to importing and possessing meth and cocaine for his part in a smuggling operation uncovered by police and Customs in 2016 after a seven month operation.

The bust led to the seizure 15 kilograms of meth and two kilograms of cocaine.

On Tuesday, Le'Ca was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland to 15 years and nine months in jail.

He is the fourth person sentenced over the seizures.

Fred Uputaua was earlier sentenced to 13 years and nine months in September 2017 after pleading guilty to attempting to import meth and cocaine and possessing it for supply.

Queenie Anne Matthews and Meinata Piahana also pleaded guilty to charges relating to importing meth and cocaine and were sentenced in November 2017 to 11 months home detention.

Detective Senior Sergeant Albie Alexander said his team had worked tirelessly to get convictions after a lengthy and complex drug operation.

"What was particularly striking about this case was that the main offender and mastermind in this smuggling operation (Le'Ca), exploited two of his own family members by involving them in his criminal activity," he said.

"Unfortunately this is not an isolated case and there will continue to be those who attempt to smuggle methamphetamine into the country."