More arrests in drugs operation
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
By Debbie Porteous
Four more people were arrested yesterday as a police operation targeting an alleged LSD and cannabis dealing syndicate in Dunedin winds up.
Last Thursday, armed police stormed four properties across Dunedin and arrested eight people, mostly on cannabis dealing charges.
Yesterday, up to 10 officers seized evidence at two Mosgiel properties about 7:30am. Two teenagers, aged 17 and 19, were arrested and charged with dealing the Class C drug cannabis.
They were granted police bail to appear in the Dunedin District Court next week.
A third person at one of the houses was detained on six active warrants for his arrest. He appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday.
About 12:30pm, a 21 year old man, also alleged to beconnected to the syndicate, was arrested at a house in Tainui, Dunedin. He later appeared in the Dunedin District Court on charges related to dealing the Class A drug LSD.
A 22 year old man allegedly linked to the same group arrested in Dunedin on Friday and initially charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm faced further firearms and drugs-related charges in court yesterday.
So far, 12 people in total face charges of drug dealing, as a result of the medium sized enforcement operation run by the Dunedin Police tactical squad, Sergeant Chris McLellan said.
Police began the operation two months ago and many of the charges were based on offending that happened about then.
Quantities of cannabis and cash were recovered from the houses searched on warrants.
Sgt. McLellan declined to say what triggered the ongoing police operation or how the syndicate was uncovered.
Most of the charges laid as a result of the operation related to medium-level marijuana dealingby those in the syndicate, although three of those arrested had also been charged with dealing LSD.
Police had become aware the LSD was reasonably widely available in the community, Sgt. McLellan said.
"It appears to be the drug of choice at the moment."
The majority of those involved in the allgeged syndicate were young, with most of those arrested aged under 22, he said.
All were well known to police and had been active in the past few months. Some of the 12 also faced various charges related to firearms, assaults and property damage.
While the operation was relatively small, it should result in a lot of "very cautious drug dealers" around town, Sgt. McLellan said.
*Geordie Nathaniel Frame (39), student, possessing utensils for cannabis use, July 9, and possessing cannabis plant (4g), 40 hours community work (each charge, concurrent), wilfully obstructing Constable Timothy Oldfield, convicted and discharged.