A driver asleep in her car on the side of a Northland highway, headlights on and engine still running, was carrying two kilograms of an ingredient used to cook meth, authorities say.
Karla Anne Puddick, 39, pleaded guilty in Whangarei District Court to possessing contact NT, a product containing pseudoephedrine and a precursor substance used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
The charge relates to a search of her car in Kerikeri on December 13, 2020, where she was stopped by police about 4.45pm.
Earlier that morning, members of the public reported seeing Puddick asleep in her car on the side of State Highway 1 near the town of Kaeo. The vehicle's lights were on and its engine still running.
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According to a summary of facts, Puddick drove on December 11, 2020, from Auckland to Northland, where she stole the contactNT from an associate's remote, rural, address.
She was heading back there on December 13 but fell asleep en route.
Her arrest in Kerikeri was for driving while suspended but prompted a search of her (borrowed) vehicle.
The ContactNT was found among her possessions in the car, as were 1.5grams of meth and a methamphetamine pipe, for which she was also charged.
The Crown withdrew the two more minor charges following her guilty plea to the charge relating to the ContactNT.
In conjunction with Puddick, police arrested three men and charged them with a raft of offences including for alleged unlawful possession of firearms, drug dealing, and methamphetamine manufacture.
They have each pleaded not guilty. Their case will be heard at a jury trial later this year.