Woman jailed for dealing drugs to young high school students

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Harriet Patricia Magon, 26, has been jailed by the Alexandra District Court for drug offences.

Jo McKenzie-McLean/Stuff

Harriet Patricia Magon, 26, has been jailed by the Alexandra District Court for drug offences.

Police have thwarted a woman’s well-planned drug business targeting young high school students in Central Otago.

Harriet Patricia Magon, 26, was sentenced on Thursday to 23 months’ imprisonment by the Alexandra for drug crimes including selling cannabis to children as young as 13.

The Christchurch woman had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of possession for supply cannabis, and two representative charges of supplying cannabis to people under and over 18.

Judge Michael Turner said Magon was caught after Central Otago police became concerned about the “significant” use of cannabis within a group of high school students.

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“The defendant was identified by police as a person of interest and her activities came under scrutiny.”

Police found Magon was dealing drugs to a group aged between 13 and 17.

One 14-year-old girl would usually text Magon on her own behalf or on the behalf of others within her peer group.

Sometimes, other children would make contact directly with Magon to buy cannabis.

The cannabis would be purchased in $50 bags containing about 2 grams of the drug. The teens often pooled their money to make up the $50 purchase price and shared the cannabis between themselves, Turner said.

Magon moved from Christchurch to Alexandra at the start of 2020 and was living with extended family, including a 13-year-old niece who she also sold cannabis to.

Text messages and bank records show she sold cannabis from February 1 to the time of her arrest on June 24.

Between March 25 and June 24, Magon sold cannabis to people under 18 at least 19 times, and to people over 18 at least 64 times.

Police arrested Magon on June 24 after she met with a group of young people at an Alexandra house. There were no adults in the flat.

Police searched the property and found 450g of cannabis broken down into 16 bags with a total street value of $12,500.

A search of Magon’s bedroom unearthed a “tick list” outlining money owed to her. The names included children aged as young as 14.

Hundreds of unused plastic snap-lock bags – used to package up $50 lots of cannabis – were also found.

“This was a well-planned commercial operation that police assert would have continued if she was not apprehended and one that she has profited from,” the judge said.

Magon was uncooperative and gave nonsensical answers when questioned by police.

Judge Turner said the aggravating features of the offending were “plain to see”, including the duration of the offending, the regular supply of cannabis to children as young as 13, and the breach of trust by supplying to her young niece.

Magon’s offending also happened while she was before the court on methamphetamine charges, the judge noted.

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