Man who smuggled meth into New Zealand jailed for 16 years & More Trending News
Sami Zagros was sentenced within the High Court in Christchurch on Wednesday on 15 costs, together with eight counts of importing methamphetamine, three counts of tried importation of methamphetamine, possession of MDMA for provide, widespread assault, cash laundering and failing to hold out obligations in relation to a pc search.
Crown prosecutor Sean Mallett requested Justice Gerald Nation to take into account that Zagros had simply been launched from jail and was nonetheless on parole when he resumed his drug dealing actions – this time on a degree with “greater sophistication”.
Mallett stated it was clear Zagros’ earlier jail sentence did nothing to discourage him from offending once more.
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He additional identified that Zagros was “far removed” from the defendants who normally discover themselves earlier than the court docket for drug dealing – individuals who come from backgrounds of great deprivation and didn’t have any of the benefits in life that Zagros had.
Zagros’ lawyer, Anselm Williams, stated there had been a change in Zagros’ outlook since he was taken again into custody. Williams stated his shopper had real regret for his crimes and had taken steps “to lead a productive life once he is released”. He was partaking in college research, even receiving an A- for a criminology paper that Williams described as “a substantial piece of work”.
In sentencing Zagros, Justice Nation stated he needed to present he was genuinely dedicated to staying away from additional offending to have satisfied the Parole Board to launch him in 2018. The choose stated this was demonstrative of Zagros’ means to be “both manipulative and dishonest” in his dealings with others.
He stated Zagros’ conceitedness in pondering he would be capable to get away with critical offending put him at critical threat of additional offending and inflicting much more social hurt.
The sentencing introduced an finish to an extended prosecution course of, which began with Zagros’ arrest in September 2018 and included two aborted court docket trials.
In May 2018, Customs investigators had recognized Zagros as being concerned with the importation and distribution of methamphetamine, and distribution of MDMA in Christchurch.
Zagros would organize for the medication to return into New Zealand and to be packaged in a means that may conceal the true contents from authorities.
The packages primarily got here from Mexico and the United States, and have been declared as containing totally different gadgets – one bundle was stated to comprise adaptor and fan samples, one other a music stereo system, and yet one more African garments.
The packages have been addressed to numerous locations in Christchurch together with vacant properties, properties occupied by syndicate members, or neighbouring properties, and the names on the packing containers have been fictitious.
Patrick Gower investigates New Zealand’s methamphetamine epidemic in Patrick Gower: On P. (Video first printed in May 2021)
Zagros used associates to restrict his personal threat of being caught. One was Preston Lewis Radford. Zagros would direct Radford to select up the packages, and to ship money and medicines between Christchurch and Auckland.
Zagros had a number of cellphones and used encrypted functions akin to Wickr to hide his communication with others. He arrange a jamming gadget at his residence to stop his calls from being bugged by investigators.
Zagros’ lavish life-style got here to an abrupt finish when he was arrested on September 4, 2018, simply as he emerged from the sauna at a central Christchurch lodge. His associates, Radford and Cherie Ann Akehurst, have been additionally nabbed.
When Zagros’ residence was searched, authorities discovered 5 imitation firearms together with in his workplace secure, one in his headboard and one beneath his mattress. Over $169,000 in money was positioned in a secure.
At a storage unit linked to Zagros, customs officers discovered about 13,900 MDMA tablets. These tablets matched different MDMA tablets discovered at his residence.
In October 2020, Zagros stood trial within the High Court on 20 costs. He initially pleaded not responsible, however on day two of the trial modified his plea to responsible on eight of the costs.
Three of the costs have been dismissed and Zagros maintained his pleas of not responsible on the 9 remaining costs.
In March this yr, Zagros’ second trial acquired underneath means, however didn’t progress a lot additional than the primary. After two days of testimony from Crown witnesses had been heard, the trial got here to an abrupt halt when Zagros’ attorneys requested the court docket for depart to withdraw as his counsel.
When Zagros was again in court docket in May, he pleaded responsible to seven of the costs. The different two costs in opposition to him have been dismissed.
This was not the primary time Zagros was jailed for drug offending. He was beforehand often called Saman Ahmad Khan Bigy, the Iranian journey agent convicted of six drug costs in Auckland in 2015 and sentenced to 4 years and 6 months’ imprisonment.
Bigy was launched on parole in January 2018 after which he modified his title to Sami Zagros.
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