Police smash Bay of Plenty drug ring

A Bay of Plenty drug ring has been the target of a four-month long police operation.

Detective Senior Sergeant Lindsay Pilbrow said Bay of Plenty police had smashed open an organised drug ring, putting two clan labs out of operation and potentially preventing millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine from hitting the streets.

Operation Detroit has been on-going for nearly four months and culminated today in a series of search warrants in Maketu, Te Puke and Tauranga involving about 40 police staff.

Across the operation a total of 18 people have been arrested.

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.

The majority of the operation has taken place in Western Bay of Plenty involving local staff and staff from Rotorua.

Waikato Police also provided assistance to execute three warrants in Hamilton where a very significant seizure of precursor material was made. Two of the 18 arrests were associated with that seizure.

One clan lab was located in Tauranga last week and a second was subject to a significant fire in Katikati on Sunday after three occupants allegedly set it alight as police arrived at the property.

Mr Pilbrow said thousands of dollars worth of methamphetamine and precursors with the potential to make millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine were also recovered during the operation along with firearms, ammunition, cash and a stolen motorbike.

Three motorbikes and two vehicles were seized under Proceeds of Crime legislation.

"These are sweet victories in an ongoing battle against organised criminals and gangs," Mr 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."

Anyone with information about drug manufacture or supply should contact their local police station. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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