4 Dec 2014

Body builders sentenced for drugs

7:52 pm on 4 December 2014

Two body builders caught with almost 100,000 illegal party pills they planned to sell to the Auckland nightclub scene have been sentenced to home detention.

The Auckland District Court was told Walid Slaimankhel dealt the drugs to fund his own methamphetamine habit.

The part-time body builder had hoped to be a doctor and was studying at the University of Auckland when he became wrapped up in the night club drugs scene.

He and his co-accused, who has name suppression, filled the tiny dock at the Auckland District Court today.

Walid and his co-accused were supplied by another body builder, Phillip Musson, who Judge Philippa Cunningham described as the mastermind.

Musson, who has been sentenced to four years and five months prison, supplied the drugs which resembled the active ingredient in ecstasy.

Working with Musson was a man named Chetan Jethwa, who was pressing the pills.

At Jethwa's sentencing in the High Court at Hamilton in 2012, Justice Venning said at the height of their operation, Jethwa and Musson were responsible for shifting $55,000 worth of pills a week.

Crown prosecutor Mike Walker told the court today Slaimankhel and his co-accused sold Musson's pills.

He said the pair were driven by financial greed, and asked the court to sentence the pair to jail.

97,000 pills found

Mr Walker said the pills were sometimes sold for $18 each, and when police raided their homes they found 97,000 pills.

As well as supplying the class C party pills, the pair also pleaded guilty to charges relating to supplying and offering to supply the class B drug methadone to Musson.

Their lawyer, Mark Ryan, said Slaimankhel's family included medical professionals and even a professional rugby league player. Slaimankhel also had the support of his girlfriend and her family.

However, the families were embarrassed by the offending.

Mr Ryan said the pair were part of the body building scene and neither would ever offend again.

In sentencing, Judge Cunningham said unlike legitimate medicines, these pills were not made in a sterile environment but were the product of a backyard operation.

They were dangerous to the young people in the night club scene who took them.

The men still had support despite their offending, she said.

Judge Cunningham also commended Slaimankhel for getting help for his methamphetamine addiction.

At the peak of his addiction, he was using a gram a week, at a cost of about $1000.

In a letter to the Judge, Walid Slaimankhel said all he had to do was look at his young daughter and he knew he would never go back to that life.

Judge Cunningham took time off their sentences for early guilty pleas and restrictive bail conditions.

As well as the home detention sentence, the pair must serve 200 hours' community work.