Former Te Puke prison officer Kokiri Kihirini Junior Ronaki has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail for supplying Waikeria Prison inmates with drugs.
The 43-year-old was sentenced when he appeared in Hamilton District Court on Tuesday after earlier pleading guilty to the charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply, possession of cannabis for sale and possession of a glass pipe at this trial in June.
On the other side of the bars: A former prison guard has been jailed for smuggling drugs into Waikeria Prison.
He has since been remanded in Whanganui prison, where his lawyer Paul Mabey QC says he may serve the rest of the sentence.
Ronaki was searched by his former colleagues when he turned up for work at Waikeria Prison on July 13 last year.
He was found with enough methamphetamine in his bag to make 13 point bags and the equivalent of four "tinnies" of cannabis, and a glass pipe.
A police search of his Te Awamutu flat found 2.3g of cannabis and two bags of methamphetamine, each containing 0.6g and 0.9g packaged ready for supply.
Ronaki told his lawyer he committed the offending because of threats to his family.
“He came under a lot of pressure from gang members. He refused and they threatened his wife and kids,” says Paul Mabey QC.
Judge Glen Marshall said he could place only a limited amount of allowance on the submission that threats forced Ronaki inot the offending, saying Ronaki could have discussed the situation with his superiors or the police.
The bigger punishment will be Ronaki’s complete loss of status on his marae, says Paul.