13kg Newtown cannabis bust
More than 13kg of cannabis and $40,000 were seized in Newtown and Kilbirnie last night as police pounced on a syndicate supplying millions of dollars worth of drugs.
The Wellington drug squad executed six search warrants at properties in the area, and recovered more than 13kg of cannabis and around $40,000 in cash.
The police sting was the result of a five month investigation named Operation Foxy, where the drug squad investigated a sophisticated commercial drug syndicate that supplied tens of thousands of dollars of cannabis each week.
Sandra Jacqueline McMahon, 68, a cleaner of Newtown, was remanded in custody on charges of having cannabis that she intended to sell or supply to others, selling cannabis and growing it, all between January 1 and Thursday.
Police opposed her being given bail and she did not seek it, Judge Peter Hobbs was told.
He threatened to have a young man in the public gallery held in custody for contempt of court for using bad language as the tiny McMahon was returned to the cell area.
"She was an old lady."
"She was older than my grandmother," the young man said before apologising.
Three others were arrested for possession of cannabis and have been bailed to appear in court at a later date.
Wellington district organised crime manager detective inspector Darrin Thomson said the operation had severely impacted the cannabis supply chain in Wellington.
"This syndicate was responsible for millions of dollars worth of drugs flowing into our community and causing damage to many.
"We have been gathering evidence of the assets accumulated by this syndicate over a period of time and our Asset Recovery Unit is in the process of restraining several million dollars worth of residential property and cash."
It was believed the group had been operating for many years.
"Operation Foxy should send a clear message to those involved in such activity that if you are accumulating wealth, we will pursue all possible avenues in holding you to account and seize any assets gained from that activity."
The Dominion Post