Dunedin man ‘cut out the middleman’ drug package delivered to home

A Dunedin man said bad experiences with drugs led him to “cut out the middleman”, after an MDMA package bound for his home was intercepted.

Reuben Elliot Brookes, 21, fabricator, appeared in the Dunedin District Court last week in front of Judge Emma Smith, who called his offending unsophisticated and “naive”.

On August 26 last year, he posted on a French-themed Facebook drug dealing page.

“My mate molly has come to Dunedin if anyone wants to catch up?” he said.


The next day he posted again: “Molly is in Dunedin msg me to catch up”.

Molly is a slang term for MDMA, a class B drug.

Mid last year, Brookes accessed the dark web and used bitcoin to import 6g of MDMA for his own use.

On August 23 last year, a New Zealand Customs officer at the Auckland International Mail Centre examined a package from Canada, finding a computer mouse with a foil sachet inside.


The drugs, which had an approximate street value of $1800, were seized.

On December 13, Brookes was interviewed at his home and subsequently arrested.

He was “very co-operative” and “candidly acknowledged some of the substance would be for him”, the court heard.

The man spent two nights in custody, which counsel Andrew Dawson said “had the desired effect”.

“It was very easy to detect what you were doing … that is just how naive you were,” Judge Smith said.

“For whatever reason, you didn’t necessarily think in your head that this was serious … I don’t know if that’s what young people who use drugs think. It’s a real shame.”

Dawson said the man had bad experiences with drugs previously, so decided to “cut out the middleman”.

Judge Smith said the man had “soiled thought processes” and the fact he had used drugs before was “not particularly impressive”.

Brookes’ apprehension was part of a much wider “long-term police investigation” into the French-themed Facebook group, the court heard.

During the investigation it became apparent that the “degree of transiency and shared mailboxes” in Queenstown made it easy for drugs to enter the surrounding areas.

The bulk of controlled drugs for sale were imported from overseas via the dark web and were reportedly very pure.

“You wanted to ensure you got good quality drugs … I suppose I can follow the rationale,” the judge said.

The man had reportedly remained abstinent from drugs since his arrest and was otherwise very well thought of because of his “incredibly good character and disposition”.

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Written by John Smith

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