Six jailed over 'large-scale' drugs operation

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

Six people have been sentenced to a total of more than 39 years in prison for their parts in a "large-scale" drugs and money laundering operation stretching across the Bay of Plenty and into Waikato and Auckland.

The group - five men and a woman from Tauranga - who appeared before the High Court at Rotorua today, were arrested after a six-month surveillance operation, dubbed Operation Safari, in 2010.

Police seized more than $200,000 cash, $100,000 worth of silver and gold coins and bars, nine illegal firearms, 17 cars, five motorcycles, a powerboat, launch, houses and large quantities of methamphetamine.

Royce Duncan, 50, and Wallace Bramley, 38, were sentenced to 15 years jail and 14 years, 5 months respectively, for a raft of charges including manufacturing methamphetamine, money laundering and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Dylan Corlett, 38, received 4 years, 5 months; a 35-year-old man with name suppression received 6 years, 4 months; and Stacey Russell, 36, received 9 months home detention for drug offences. Nigel Walker, 47, was sentenced to 12 months home detention for money laundering.

The surveillance finished with 16 raids on properties across Bay of Plenty, a dozen of them in Tauranga.

All assets seized have been, or are subject to, the civil forfeiture regime where "ill-gotten gains" are seized from offenders, police said.

"These people are long-term offenders who essentially make their living from organised criminal activity, in this case, the manufacture and supply of methamphetamine," said Bay of Plenty District Crime Manager, Detective Inspector Tim Anderson.

"The drug dealing activity of those arrested and charged in this termination is significant and covered the spectrum from street level, to high-end dealing and supply, with the estimated value of drugs distributed in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"This operation has highlighted the link to property offending, with large amounts of stolen property being fed through members of this group. It had the technology, equipment, chemicals and capability to produce large quantities of methamphetamine with the potential to cause a great deal of harm to the community."

- APNZ

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