Drug accused allowed out on bail

Last updated 12:08 11/05/2012

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An Auckland man was released on bail today after spending almost a month in jail in realtion to a police bust that uncovered an alleged Queenstown drug ring.

Fletcher Craig Andrew Butler faces nine drug-related charges: conspiracy to supply methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine and seven counts of supplying methamphetamine.

He appeared before Judge Tony Fitzgerald via video-link in the Auckland District Court this morning.

Judge Fitzgerald granted him electronically monitored bail, on the condition that he obeys a 24-hour curfew, surrender his passport, answer the door when police check on him and not drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.

Butler has been in prison since his last court appearance on April 16.

He declined to enter a plea today.

The 34-year-old will next appear in court on June 18 for a post-committal conference.

Butler was one of six people arrested in a series of police raids in April that uncovered methamphetamine, ecstasy, cannabis and firearms.  

The drugs bust included a raid on a Mt Wellington P lab, which Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis said at the time was a sophisticated operation.

The lab was not functional when an Auckland police team raided the property, uncovering 1kg of the P-precursor chemical Contact NT.

It was a medium-sized, efficiently run and relatively sophisticated operation compared to other P labs, he said.

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