Dangerous amateur electrical work and a sawn-off shotgun were among police finds during a successful crackdown on cannabis and P in the Wellington region.
Police raiding three Masterton properties found blackened, scorched meter boxes in houses poorly re-wired to get free electricity to grow cannabis, Wairarapa detective sergeant Barry Bysouth said.
Bysouth, who coordinated Wellington policing district's Operation Lucy, said electricians working with police were shocked by the risky rewiring, carried out to run the expensive heating and lighting required for indoor growing. One commented ''this house should be on fire'', he said.
''It's extremely dangerous, and for neighbouring homes as well.''
Weapons seized during the operation included a loaded, sawn-off shotgun found under a sofa at an indoor cultivation in Masterton. Indoor operations appeared to be on the increase in Wairarapa, Bysouth said.
The operation, which began last November and ran until yesterday, saw the seizure of 1272 cannabis plants as well as P, amounts of dry cannabis head prepared for sale, cannabis oil and other non-prescription drugs.
The operation focussed on Wairarapa because of its greater scope for outdoor cannabis growing, Bysouth said.
The region saw 27 addresses searched, with another six on the Kapiti coast and several in the Hutt Valley. The searches resulted in more than 20 arrests including two Wairarapa men now in custody for allegedly dealing P.
Information from the public had contributed to the operation's success and Bysouth urged people to call police if they noticed anything suspicious in their neighbourhood, such as drawn blinds, fans or lighting in sheds during in the night and odd smells.
- The Dominion Post
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