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Illicit drug rings dealt another blow

Illicit drug rings dealt another blow

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 - 1:52pm

This year's Central District Cannabis and Crime Operation saw a total of 7,415 cannabis plants removed from the community in an effort to prevent illicit drug harm.

5,297 of this year's haul was from the aerial operation with the remaining 2,118 coming from search warrants.

"While we are slightly down from last year on plants pulled, the focus of the operation is to remove the harm that illicit drugs and organised crime cause to communities," says Detective Inspector Keith Borrell, Central District Operation Coordinator.

Together with the rural recovery there is a significant ground phase which this year resulted in 60 search warrants against drug dealers and cultivators in the district.

"The annual operation starts with an intelligence-gathering phase and is followed by an aerial recovery phase using Air Force Iroquois helicopters to winch police officers into cannabis plots."

This year Central District Police was the first District to use an Air Force NH90 helicopter alongside the Iroquois. The NH90 was conducting testing and evaluation in order to support future operations.

Cannabis grows were located in 92 plots and 107 offenders have been identified resulting in 143 charges.

Officer's also located and recovered 26.5 kilograms of dried cannabis, firearms, cocaine, ecstasy tablets, and 53 grams of methamphetamine.

"Information received directly and through Crimestoppers has also played a key role in our operation. This partnered with our enforcement activities delivers a strong blow to illicit drug rings and helps make communities safe and healthy places to live in," says Detective Inspector Borrell.

If you have information about drug cultivation, manufacture or supply rings please contact your local Police Station. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Area results for aerial recovery phase:

Taranaki - 988 plants

Ruapehu - 1,810 plants

Whanganui - 2,075 plants

Manawatü (incorporates the Tararua and Horowhenua) - 424 plants

Search warrant breakdown:

Taranaki - 12

Ruapehu - 5

Whanganui - 10

Manawatü (incorporates the Tararua and Horowhenua) - 33


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