October 3, 2023

Fantasy, meth sales ‘almost daily’ from Te Aroha house

Drugs and cash that police recovered after arresting four people, including Te Aroha woman Courtney Murray, in November last year. Photo / NZ Police

Drug sales of GBL – or ‘fantasy’, as it’s often known – and methamphetamine were happening almost daily from a Te Aroha woman’s house until police knocked on her door.

Courtney Marie Murray was one of four arrested after a nearly year-long police operation into the supply of GBL, cocaine and methamphetamine in Te Aroha that began in November 2021.

Police analysed the 30-year-old’s phone and found between November 25, 2021 and October 26, 2022, she had supplied 17.35 grams of meth and 72.5 millilitres of GBL in and around Te Aroha.

She also admitted charges of offering to sell meth and GBL.

The sales, which occurred almost daily, took place at her home and predominately saw meth sold in quarter or half-ounce bags.

Police were only able to identify the size of 42 of the 59 meth sales, which amounted to 17.35g.

Murray offered to supply GBL to people on 11 occasions.

Police carried out a search warrant at her Miller St home and discovered a CCTV set up outside their bedroom, along with 0.02g of cocaine, remnants of GBL, empty point bags, multiple cellphones and $965 in cash.

Sentencing her in the Hamilton District Court recently, Judge Tini Clark noted Murray had a history of drug possession, including GBL and P in 2018, and more meth, LSD and fantasy in 2019.

However, she had now moved on to the more serious mode of drug-dealing.

The judge also recalled comments Murray made in a letter to the court during her sentencing in 2019 stating she wanted to “make better choices”, be free from drug use and focus on her children.

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“The reason I mention that is that you have known what the solution is in terms of your own personal circumstances about drug use and addiction.

“But unfortunately, after 2019, it doesn’t appear as if very much changed at all, and you have now come before the court for further drug offending.”

Judge Clark told her that there were higher penalties for becoming involved in drug-dealing.

“If you’re going to continue drug-dealing, there’s only one place you will end up.

“You lose, your children lose … and I don’t think we can underestimate the impact of children not having their mother … make some better choices for you and your family once you are released from prison.”

On the charges, she was jailed for 18 months and three weeks and also had her $4326 in fines remitted.

Her sentence will run alongside, or concurrently, with a 12-month jail term she is serving from May this year relating to driving, theft and drug-related charges.

Belinda Feek is an Open Justice reporter based in Waikato. She has worked at NZME for eight years and been a journalist for 19.

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