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Police believe they have busted a significant methamphetamine supply ring that was operating throughout Hawke's Bay over recent months.
Seven men and women aged from 25 to 49 appeared in the Napier District Court today on a variety of charges including supplying methamphetamine, conspiracy to supply methamphetamine and possession for supply. Five of the seven have been remanded in custody to reappear in three weeks.
Thirty police staff from Hawke's Bay, including the Armed Offenders Squad, searched six houses in Napier and Hastings on Sunday. Four cars were also searched during the operation.
Head of the Eastern District Organised Crime group, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Foster, said the methamphetamine ring was a "substantial player" in the local drug scene. A large amount of the drug was seized during the raids, as well as Ecstasy pills, LSD and other substances yet to be analysed.
Police also found several thousand dollars in cash. A loaded sawn-off shotgun was discovered in one Napier house.
Mr Foster said the operation was significant for police. There were no gang connections to the group.
"These people have been very active around Hawke's Bay and we believe we have brought some major meth dealing to a halt. A continued focus on drug dealing has real benefits for us and there will be no let-up in our fight against this sort of crime," Mr Foster said.
Further charges are likely against the seven in court today.