Nine people arrested in a four-day police operation across Northland as part of an investigation into a alleged large-scale drug syndicate have made their first appearances in court.

A team of 150 officers were involved in the bust that targeted the manufacture, distribution and supply of methamphetamine and other drugs in the region.

Two properties in Wheki Valley were put in lockdown and thoroughly searched by officers over two days last month.

Those who have appeared are Zeke James Lowe, 41, electrician of Puwera, on charges of possessing methamphetamine, offering to supply methamphetamine, possession of a pipe to smoke methamphetamine, receiving a $20,000 generator, careless driving and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Lawrence Philip De Goey, 62, Wheki Valley, faces charges of unlawful possession of explosives .22 calibre ammunition, receiving a $20,000 generator, receiving a $2000 generator, possession of methamphetamine, two charges of possession of cannabis, a charge of possession of cannabis seeds and driving while disqualified.

Nicholas Martin Pukeroa, 32, painter of Raumanga, is charged with unlawful possession of explosives various ammunition, unlawful possession of a firearm a Ruger semi-automatic rifle, unlawful possession of a Remington .22 calibre bolt action rifle and possession of cannabis for sale.

Ross David Sowry, 50, farmer of Hukerenui, faces charges of possession of explosives various ammunition, unlawful possession of a firearm a sawn down shotgun, unlawful possession of a pistol and possession of methamphetamine.

Miranda Porteous, 36, of Hukerenui, faces one charge of possession of cannabis.

Melissa Topsy Eve Petersen, 39, of Woodhill, is jointly charged with a man of possession of utensils for smoking methamphetamine and possession of cannabis.

Michael Lindsay Gray, 62 and Natasha Elizabeth Gray, 28, both of Okaihau, are jointly charged with producing heroin.

Kim Bruce Smith, 55, of Wheki Valley, is charged with offering to supply multiple people morphine, two charges of offering to supply heroin, supplying methamphetamine, offering to supply methamphetamine and conspiring to be in possession of a firearm.

They will all make their second appearance in either Whangārei District Court or Manukau District Court over the next few weeks.


During the operation police recovered about $60,000 worth of stolen property along with drugs such as heroin, cannabis and methamphetamine.

The stolen property, including a flatbed truck, is in the process of being returned to their rightful owners.

During the raids officers recovered two Tasers and seven firearms, including a 357 Magnum pistol, a shotgun, as well as two semi-automatic rifles now classified as prohibited under the new firearms laws.