A Wairoa gang member has been remanded on bail and without plea after appearing in court facing 58 charges related to methamphetamine and cannabis dealing.
Police said the man, described as being a member of the Mongrel Mob Barbarian chapter, was arrested yesterday at a house in Mahia Ave, the main road north out of Wairoa to both Gisborne and Frasertown.
Cash totaling $8000 in cash was seized at the property said police, who have not revealed whether any illicit drugs were found. But they said children have been living at the address.
He has been remanded to appear in Wairoa District Court again on November 1.
Also arrested, for allegedly breaching bail, was a man police said is a member of Mongrel Mob Aotearoa. He had been on electronic bail while on remand facing family violence charges.
Eastern Police Organised Crime Unit head Detective Sergeant John McCarthy said police will continue to target gangs in Wairoa and particularly their illegal drug activities.
"Methamphetamine is a scourge on our communities, particularly small towns like Wairoa," he said. "We are focusing heavily on gangs and their involvement in the meth scene. The amount of social harm this drug does to the community is horrendous."
Wairoa has had significant community opposition to the drug dealing in Northern Hawke's Bay, including a march in July when members of victim families from as far afield as Raupunga in the south of the district and Te Reinga to the north walked with community leaders, calling for an end to methamphetamine use and dealing, which many said was ruining the community.
Police are urging anyone who is concerned about drug activity in their neighbourhood to either contact their local police station or ring anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.