West Coast meth supply busted during Covid-19 lockdown

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A patched Hells Angels member from Auckland was allegedly caught with $500,000 worth of methamphetamine on the West Coast.

The man was arrested in Kumara last Friday, and reportedly found with cash, ammunition, and a pistol, as well as the drugs.

The arrest is one of several related to the West Coast drug trade in recent weeks.

Three people were charged with supplying methamphetamine after police raided several Coast properties on Thursday.

Two women, aged 33 and 36, and a 34-year-old man appeared in Greymouth District Court on Thursday on methamphetamine charges.

Meth dealing goes "hand-in-hand" with burglary and illicit firearms, police say.
Items seized during a police investigation into the methamphetamine supply on the West Coast.
Meth dealing goes "hand-in-hand" with burglary and illicit firearms, police say.

Last week, a 41-year-old man with gang links was arrested in Reefton for possession of cannabis for supply.

He also allegedly had a substantial amount of cash at the time of his arrest.

A 36-year-old Westport woman was charged with possession of methamphetamine, dealing methamphetamine, and driving charges, and has been remanded in custody until June 30.

Several Westport people have also been charged with burglary and several Greymouth people charged with receiving following a spate of commercial burglaries in Westport since late February.

Some of these people remain in custody, police said. 

West Coast police investigations area manager Detective Senior Sergeant Kirsten Norton said the region's police had used the Covid-19 lockdown to target drug-fuelled crime in the region.

"Nationally, the Covid-19 pandemic has helped disrupt some of the established channels of methamphetamine supply, and West Coast police have been working hard continuing to disrupt this supply even further," she said. 

"We are confident the arrests and seizures we have made have had an impact, and our work in this area will be ongoing."

The investigations were "greatly assisted" by information from the public, she said.

"Our message to those who are struggling with an addiction to methamphetamine [is] please get help."


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