A south Auckland gang boss has been sentenced to at least five years and nine months in prison for dealing methamphetamine.
The leader of the Killer Beez, Joshua Masters, was handed down a maximum prison term of 10 years and five months at the High Court in Auckland on Friday.
Masters, 35, had pleaded guilty to two charges of supplying methamphetamine, one of conspiracy to supply the Class A drug, and one of money laundering.
The sentence comes more than four years after Masters' arrest in May 2008 following an extensive police operation in which more than 40 other Killer Beez and Tribesmen gang members and associates were arrested.
Defence lawyer Ron Mansfield told the court that at the time of Masters' arrest, he was trying to withdraw from his leadership role in the gang and was beginning to redirect his life in a more positive direction.
Through his record label, Colourway Records, Masters was trying to promote south Auckland artists and provide young people with something to do, Mr Mansfield said.
Letters from Masters' fellow prison inmates detailing the positive impact he's had on their lives were also submitted by Mr Mansfield.
In handing down his sentence, Justice Christopher Toogood said Masters played a pivotal leadership role in the distribution and supply of an "evil drug".
Masters had a substantial leadership role in the Killer Beez and was heavily involved in major drug dealing, Justice Toogood said.
There was no evidence that Masters was a user of methamphetamine, but Justice Toogood said his drug dealing was "motivated by greed and easy money".
It was the proceeds of Masters' drug dealing that supported his music business, he said.
Justice Toogood accepted Masters has genuine leadership abilities, but said it was a great shame they were not used for legitimate enterprises.
Masters admitted the charges on the morning his trial was set to get under way in September 2010.
He has been in custody since his arrest.