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As part of the ongoing Police effort to disrupt organised crime networks and reduce harm in communities, Whanganui and Ruapehu Police have dismantled an organised criminal network operating in the wider Ruapehu area.
On Saturday 8 June 2013 Police executed a search warrant at a Matiere property which is situated about 30 kilometres west of Taumarunui.
The warrant was a result of an investigation into the activities of the occupants of this address and the supply of methamphetamine and cannabis in that area.
A 51-year-old man and a 43-year-old female that were occupants of the Matiere address have been arrested.
They appeared in the Taumarunui District Court yesterday jointly charged with drug related matters including; possession of equipment with intent, possession of precursor substances, possession of cannabis for supply, possession of cannabis oil for supply, and unlawful possession of firearms.
The National Clandestine Laboratory team is currently examining the property at Matiere in relation to the chemicals found at the premises. They have also conducted examinations at two separate addresses in Ohura that are believed to be linked to the Matiere address.
Recovered during the search of the Matiere property was a shotgun, a Glock pistol, a 9mm pistol, ammunition, cannabis, cannabis oil, various chemicals, and equipment believed to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Officer in charge of Whanganui CIB, Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby said: "Firearms and drugs are an extremely dangerous combination and pose a significant risk to both Police and communities."
A second related search warrant was executed at a Tokirima address on Sunday 9 June. At this property police located 26 cannabis plants and a .308 rifle. A 31-year-old man appeared in the Taumarunui District court yesterday charged with cultivation of cannabis, possession of cannabis for supply, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Detective Senior Sergeant Kirby also praised the efforts of the investigation team leading to the recovery of the drugs, firearms, and equipment.
"Operations like this involving people residing in remote areas are difficult to conduct. It's through the diligence and determination of our staff that lead to successful results like this.
"The public play an important role in disrupting organised crime in their community and they have also contributed to the success of this operation.
"Police is committed to fighting organised crime and keeping communities safe from harm," said Detective Senior Sergeant Kirby.
If you have information about drug cultivation, manufacture or supply rings please contact your local Police Station. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.