By Michele Hunter

A Tauranga man who plans to defend firearm and methamphetamine charges stemming from an alleged P-lab bust in Te Puna last year  told police he was being forced by the Mongrel Mob to help cook the drug and feared for his life if he did not do so.
Kevin Lambert, 51, denied 10 drug and firearm charges when he was arraigned for trial in Tauranga District Court earlier this week.
Lambert denied two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine and one count each of conspiring to supply the drug, possession of methamphetamine for supply,  precursor material,  equipment and possession of precursor substances used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
He also denied one count each of attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a .22 calibre firearm and unlawful possession of explosives, namely a box of .22 calibre ammunition.
One of the manufacturing methamphetamine charges and the conspiring to supply the drug charge are representative.
The Crown alleged Lambert was involved in manufacturing methamphetamine and conspiring to supply the drug between July 1 and October 23, 2008.
According to the summary of facts, when armed police swooped on Lambert's Wallace Rd address in Te Puna on September 5, 2008  they allegedly found him in the middle of cooking up methamphetamine, using a vessel the size of a beer keg.
Due to the risk, a specialist clandestine drug lab team was called in and a full search of the property also uncovered other items which had allegedly been used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
The items included iodine, hydrochloric acid and two stainless steel cylindrical tubes with screw lid tops, known as Parr bombs.
Parr bombs are used as reaction vessels to convert precursor materials into methamphetamine.
It was also alleged that next to Lambert's bed was $8500 and a snaplock bag containing 3.5 grams of methamphetamine.
Elsewhere inside the premises were the semi-automatic rifle and box of ammunition and $9200 cash was seized.
Lambert was charged and subsequently bailed to a Ruahihi Rd address.
On October 23, in a search at Lambert's new address, it was alleged police found a set of electronic scales, methamphetamine utensils and a large number of unused point bags.
Lambert was also alleged to have told police it was his first attempt at manufacturing methamphetamine and claimed he was being forced by the Mongrel Mob and feared for his life if he did not do so.
Lambert was remanded on bail for a callover hearing in February when a trial date will be set.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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