A Northland man jailed for growing and selling cannabis claimed selling puppies, pinecones and doing under the table work paid for a boat, Chevrolet vehicle and an all-terrain motorbike.

However, this week the Whangārei High Court delivered forfeiture orders against 47-year-old Guy Bartlett, sentenced to four and a half years in prison for cultivating and selling cannabis.

That means all the property will be handed over to the Crown who will then sell the items and the money from those sales would be redistributed into the Proceeds of Crime Fund.

Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Allan, Northern Asset Recovery Unit said police initiated civil proceedings under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 and the property, including a McLay boat, Chevrolet Utility Vehicle and a Polaris All-Terrain Vehicle, would be forfeited to the Crown.

Advertisement

"The property was determined to have been derived from the proceeds of criminal activity," Allan said.

"The Court did not accept Mr Bartlett's explanations the assets were acquired by cash sales derived from puppies, pinecones and under the table work."

He said in light of Bartlett's offending it showed the lengths the police would go to remove ill-gotten gains from those who benefited from unlawful activity.

"This matter also relied on information from the public and was a great example of the New Zealand Police and the Northland community working closely together to achieve this outcome."

Bartlett was found guilty by at a jury trial in August 2017 and in November of the same year was jailed by Judge Duncan Harvey.

During the trial it was revealed Bartlett was arrested during the three-month police Operation Dee where outdoor cannabis growing operations were targeted across Northland. Bartlett's 13 plots on Pouto Peninsula contained a total of 1078 plants.

Each of the plots were surrounded by a steel netting fence and covered with fishing nets and gins traps were set to protect the illegal plants from possums.

The value of the crop was estimated at between $800,000 to 1.2 million in the sophisticated outdoor operation which was described by Crown prosecutor Justin Wall as designed to achieve maximum yield and was an "industrial sized operation".

Advertisement

Covert camera coverage shown as evidence in the trial showed Bartlett thinning the plants at one of the plots, however police found no evidence of cannabis at his house.

Detective Senior Sergeant Chris Allan said anyone who had information relating to proceeds of crime should contact Police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.