Police in Bay of Plenty have smashed open an organised drug ring, putting two clan labs out of operation and preventing millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine from hitting the streets.
Operation Detroit culminated today in a series of search warrants in Maketu, Te Puke and Tauranga involving approximately 40 police officers.
A total of 16 men and two women have been arrested throughout the four month operation.
Three men and one woman were arrested for a variety of cannabis offences. The remaining 14 all face a variety of Class A drug-related charges.
One clan lab was located in Tauranga last week and a second was subject to a significant fire in Katikati on Sunday (9 December) after three occupants allegedly set light to it as Police arrived at the property.
The majority of the operation has taken place in Western Bay of Plenty involving local staff and staff from Rotorua.
Waikato Police provided assistance to execute three warrants in Hamilton where a very significant seizure of precursor material was made. Two arrests were associated with that seizure.
Thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine and precursors with the potential to make millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine have also been recovered during the operation along with firearms, ammunition, cash and a stolen motorbike.
Three motorbikes and two vehicles have also been seized under Proceeds of Crime legislation.
"These are sweet victories in an ongoing battle against organised criminals and gangs," Detective Senior Sergeant Lindsay Pilbrow said.
"Methamphetamine causes nothing but misery and our communities have had a guts-full. Not only are we intent on disrupting the trade, we will take every opportunity to hit them where it hurts by having the proceeds of their criminal activity forfeited."
If you have information about drug manufacture or supply, ring your local Police Station. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.