Forty-two cannabis plants, a loaded shotgun and $500,000 worth of assets were seized and two people arrested in an armed police raid on a rural house near Levin yesterday morning.
Constable Jim Dunlop said the 42 cannabis plants had a mature street value of about $42,000.
A loaded shotgun was found in a bedroom, but the operation went smoothly, Mr Dunlop said.
A 47-year-old man and his 45-year-old wife were arrested and have been jointly charged with cultivation and sale of cannabis, and possession for supply.
The raid was the result of an eight-month investigation by police units in Otaki, Levin and Auckland after the arrest of a suspected drug dealer in Auckland.
''A search warrant at an Auckland address and inquiries identified an Otaki resident, and then it appeared he'd been supplying cannabis to Auckland for quite some time.''
The drugs were mostly grown hydroponically in a shed on the property in what appeared to be a ''sophisticated set-up for long-term production'', Mr Dunlop said.
''I think people would be quite surprised on who it is, but it just goes to show a clear message - it's not worth it, we will catch you in the end.''
Four Armed Offenders Squad members were called in for the early morning raid, which included police from Otaki, Levin and Palmerston North.
Police found seven firearms at the property, including the loaded shotgun. The man was a firearms licence holder.
Vehicles, a boat and a ride-on lawn mower were also seized.
The couple are scheduled to appear in Levin District Court on February 20.
More charges are likely, Mr Dunlop said.
- The Dominion Post