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Waikato meth recovery a significant dent to drug trade

Police say Waikato meth recovery a significant dent to illegal drugs trade

[Pictures on Police website]

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 - 4:58pm

National News

A significant dent in the illicit drugs trade is how a senior Waikato Police officer described a successful operation in the King Country that netted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine today.

Crime Services Manager, Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel Keall, said today's success was related to the search of two properties in Otorohanga and a rural address outside the town.

"Members of the Waikato Organised Crime Squad and local Western Waikato officers searched two properties on Gradara Ave early this morning and recovered about 500g of cannabis, a point of methamphetamine, ammunition and a small amount of cash at a woman's home while two large cargo bags of methamphetamine manufacturing equipment were found at her son's address next door.

"3ozs of cannabis were found in a vehicle at the second address while a man turned up at the home while Police were there and processed for driving while disqualified. A car load of gang members who arrived at the address while Police were searching it told officers they were only there to go eeling."

Mr Keall said officers arriving at the third address discovered a methamphetamine laboratory, a large amount of cash, large quantity of chemicals in two vehicles and over 700gms of methamphetamine conservatively valued at over $300,000.

"Other items recovered included more ammunition and several kilos of a cutting agent used in the distribution process of the methamphetamine trade."

"As a result of this morning's discoveries a 42-year-old woman and 50-year-old man have been jointly charged with manufacturing and possession for supply of methamphetamine and other associated charges while a 16-year-old male from one of the addresses has been referred to Youth Aid in relation to possession of cannabis for supply."

Mr Keall said one of the real tragedies of the methamphetamine trade was the damage it does not only to society at large but particularly families and this morning's arrests impacted on three generations from one family.

"The other significant aspect is that though the end product of the illicit drugs trade is often targeted at large urban areas, the manufacturing of such products is often occurring in the rural community.

"And with this is a significant percentage of associated crime from the theft of property from homes to pay for illegal drugs, the theft of equipment and materials to aid in the manufacturing process and even the risk to waterways and the environment from toxic waste products."

With those risks in mind Mr Keall urged rural landowners, landlords and members of the community to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity to either the Police or the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
"While it is a concern such activity is taking place there is no doubt today's discoveries are a major success and with the cooperation of the public there is no doubt further successes are achievable."


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