16 face court after drug bust

Drugs, cash, firearms and the components of a methamphetamine lab were among items recovered during an operation by Tauranga Police yesterday to target drug and property offenders.

The operation saw a number of search warrants conducted across the area and 16 men and women arrested.

At one address in rural Pyes Pa, components of a methamphetamine lab were found along with precursor chemicals, cannabis plants and a stolen Subaru car.

$10,000 in cash and approximately seven grams of methamphetamine was discovered at one Tauranga home with a rifle and shotgun at another.

There was plenty of cannabis to be found too. In excess of 500 plants and a 40-litre drum full of dried cannabis head were located in rural Welcome Bay, while 60 plants were found in a sophisticated growing operation in Mount Maunganui.

Corrections staff joined the police operation helping to recover approximately $1800 in unpaid fines.

Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner said: "We've made no secret of the fact that these types of operations will continue until the message sinks in and we break this cycle of offending. There are some people who are clearly delusional if they think we will not catch up with them sooner or later."

Those arrested now face a variety of charges including possession and supply of cannabis and methamphetamine, cultivation, unlawful possession of firearms, theft, receiving and aggravated robbery.

If you have information about drug manufacture and supply or any other offending, ring your local police station. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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