Seven people allegedly involved in Hawke's Bay's largest methamphetamine bust appeared via video link in Hastings District Court yesterday.

The appearances come after 13 people were arrested for high-level drug offending in September following a six-month investigation by police into an organised crime unit.

Seven people charged with numerous drugs-related offences including possessing methamphetamine for supply, supplying/administering/dealing methamphetamine and conspiring to deal methamphetamine appeared via audio visual link before Judge Christopher Field.

The youngest, 22-year-old Freeman Babbington-Dougherty, was granted electronically monitored bail to cheers from family and friends in the public gallery and was remanded without plea to reappear on October 31.


Shane Thompson, 31, who faces the most charges with 14 counts of supplying meth and five each of possessing and conspiring to deal the drug, was remanded in custody until October 31.

Petara Gamlen, 29, Oliver Leroy Stewart and Matiu Edwards, 28, were also remanded in custody without plea until October 31. Phillip Grant Middleton, 40, was remanded in custody without plea until October 17.

Shannon Amos Ross, 32, had several charges withdrawn by leave and was remanded in custody on two drugs charges and two unrelated charges until December 1.

Last month police executed eight search warrants for homes in Napier and Hastings and made the arrests.

Several of those arrested were Mongrel Mob members.

Police seized 3kg of methamphetamine holding a street value of $2.5 million, along with $343,000 in cash, 2200 LSD tabs, eight firearms, six upmarket vehicles and a new Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 the maximum penalty for both supplying meth and possessing the class A controlled drug is life imprisonment. The maximum for conspiring to deal the drug is 14 years' imprisonment.