Scientist outlines multimillion dollar P operation

By Sandra Conchie of the Bay of Plenty Times -
The men were caught with enough equipment and ingredients to cook up to 2kg of meth. Photo / File
The men were caught with enough equipment and ingredients to cook up to 2kg of meth. Photo / File

Two men accused of involvement in a multimillion-dollar drug ring were caught with enough equipment and ingredients to cook up to 2kg of methamphetamine, an ESR scientist told a jury yesterday.

Dr Anne Coxon revealed her analysis while giving evidence in the High Court at Rotorua on day three of the jury trial of Royce Allan Duncan, 49, of Omanawa, and Wallace Bramley, 38, of Papamoa.

They are jointly charged with manufacturing more than 2kg of the drug between March 2 and 3, 2010.

The drugs would have had a street value of $2.34 million, the court was earlier told.

Duncan and Bramley have also denied one joint count of conspiring to supply the drug.

Also on trial is Stacey Helen Clark, aka Russell, 36, who has denied one count each of supplying equipment, namely scales, to Duncan, capable of being used in the manufacture of P, and possession of cannabis for supply.

The cannabis charge relates to police finding eight shopping bags full of cannabis head material and another 94g of loose cannabis leaves at her Pyes Pa Rd address on September 20, 2010.

A fourth accused, former policeman and real estate agent Nigel David Walker, 47, has denied one count of conspiring with Duncan to engage in a money-laundering transaction, in relation to the purchase of an industrial unit at Mount Maunganui's Aerodrome Rd.

Dr Coxon, a forensic scientist, also described the different production methods, and the process required to convert pseudoephedrine and the other key ingredients into methamphetamine hydrochloride.

Under cross-examination by Bramley's lawyer, Paul Mabey, QC, Dr Coxon conceded there was no forensic evidence of a cook-up on March 2-3 nor could she describe what production method would have been used if one had taken place or the quantity of the end product.

The charges against the four stem from a large-scale surveillance operation, Operation Safari, carried out during 2010.

During the operation, police searched several properties, including Duncan's home at Bonniglen Rd, Omanawa, intercepted phone calls and analysed more than 80,000 text messages between Duncan and the other accused, and several associates.

Yesterday, the jury also had a series of text exchanges between Duncan and Bramley during March 2 and 9, 2010, read to them by Detective Mike Brown.

During one Duncan and Bramley discussed various large numbers and Bramley asked Duncan had he "ditched the leftovers" yet.

The Crown alleges these discussions relate to the amount of P they had produced and the leftover term related to unwanted residues after the manufacturing process was completed.

As a result of the same operation, Duncan and Bramley earlier pleaded guilty to a raft of other methamphetamine manufacture and supply charges, which the Crown says is clear evidence of their capacity to manufacture substantial amounts of P.

They included the possession of large quantities of precursor substances, chemicals and equipment among which were two 6kg reaction vessels used in the cooking process.

The Crown closed its case last night; the defence begins today.

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