Drug dealer's friend 'gave' him ecstasy worth $120,000

A Queenstown drug dealer claims a friend who left New Zealand gave him ecstasy pills worth $120,000.
Keith Singleton, a 30-year-old labourer originally from Ireland, said he only started selling the pills when his partner was made redundant.

Police found 2431 pills when they searched his home on December 9, and charged him with possession of the class B drug ecstasy and possession of ecstasy for supply.

Judge Russell Walker sentenced him in the Queenstown District Court on Monday to 11 months and two weeks home detention and 200 hours of community work, on top of 240 hours already completed.


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You have come as close as you possibly can to a sizeable term of imprisonment without actually going to prison, the judge said.

Singletons claim a friend left the pills with him because the friend had to leave New Zealand due to visa issues stretched credibility, the judge said.

This type of offending has become all too prevalent in Queenstown.

In a letter to the court, Singleton said he saw other people selling ecstasy and though it would be easy.

You acknowledge that drugs in town are rampant with every second person taking drugs," the judge said.

You and your friends would take ecstasy whenever there was an event on.

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF
Sally Evans had to take her son's friend to Waikato Hospital after they took some bad MDMA. (Video first published in January 2021)

When police executed a search warrant on his home they found five ecstasy tablets in his bedroom and another 2426 tablets packed into Skittles bags, M&M bags and plastic bags in a suitcase in the garage.

They were coloured pink with the shape of a small triangle and known as pink strawberries.

They were sold for $50 each and worth $121,550 in total.

Police also found $2360 in cash, which Singleton admitted was from the previous sale of ecstasy pills.

Singleton was well thought of, and it was his first conviction, the judge said.

He was given credit for his early guilty plea, for being a foreign national in New Zealand and for his good character and remorse, including the 240 hours of community work he had voluntarily completed.

Deportation would inevitably follow, the judge said.

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