Stakeouts after an alleged drug boss went on the run netted police a pistol-toting man in a motel room and wads of cash stashed in cars.
That's what jurors were told at the Auckland District Court trial of a man accused of involvement in a complex methamphetamine ring.
The Penrose man has denied nine charges including supplying meth, possessing meth precursors, and possessing ecstasy and cannabis.
He admitted having a meth pipe for his own use but said he knew nothing about activities of other people caught in the months-long police organised crime investigation.
Jurors heard he was charged after police searching a New Lynn motel, Penrose properties, Dodge Journey SUV and Toyota Camry found drugs, guns and at least $300,000 cash.
Auckland District Court heard two men went on the run in January 2018. Suppression orders prevent publication of some alleged syndicate members' names.
Prosecutor David Johnstone said the alleged drug boss was caught at Auckland Airport in late January 2018.
Jurors were told another man arrested was held in custody but got bail, then removed his electronic bracelet and disappeared in August 2018.
Jurors heard the Penrose man now on trial piqued police interest after having offered during a jail phone call to help that prisoner get bail.
The recorded phone call was played to jurors on Tuesday and interpreted from Chinese.
The prisoner complained to the Penrose man now on trial about legal fees and what he called his lawyer's lack of skill.
"The type of astuteness and resourcefulness of us, us Chinese, is better."
"You are only 20, what is there to be worried about?" the Penrose man replied.
Police said the Penrose man in late 2018 paid frequent, fleeting visits to motels and car parks across Auckland, sometimes seen meeting other people.
Detective Sergeant Andrew Dunhill of the National Organised Crime Group said the Penrose man drove in November 2018 to a Mission Bay car park.
Dunhill told the court a Caucasian man was seen exiting the Dodge SUV and walking to a grey BMW in the car park, lifting the boot as a group of people stood around.
Police say the man on trial was seen at New Lynn's New Haven Motel, Taylor St, in Blockhouse Bay, Albany Oak Motel on the North Shore, and Epsom's Abella Inn.
He was charged with drug offences in November 2018.
Jurors heard one of the Penrose man's alleged co-conspirators had since admitted manufacturing meth, possessing meth for supply, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
But the defence has argued the Penrose man didn't know about drug-making equipment found in the raids.
And the defence said there was nothing sinister about SIM cards, snaplock bags and other goods allegedly found in his possession.
But the Crown claims the Penrose man knew what his associates were doing, and shared responsibility for organised criminal offending.
"The Crown is saying that it's not sufficient that one person takes responsibility of each individual offence," Johnstone told the court.
The court heard when one search warrant was carried out, police found 1.59kg of methamphetamine in a car.
In another car, police claimed to have found nearly a kilogram of ephedrine, a class B drug suitable for making meth.
The court heard at one stage a police investigator covertly booked a room at New Haven Motel.
Prosecutors said the alleged drug boss was found at this motel with a pistol in his shoulder holster.
Police searched a Toyota Camry parked outside one of the motel units in late 2018.
Jurors were told a loaded black revolver with five rounds of ammunition was found in the car.
Prosecutors said a gun silencer or suppressor was also found in the Camry, as was $200,000 in cash.
The trial continues.