City drug bust

A Palmerston North man has been arrested for allegedly importing of $15,000 of methamphetamine.

Dylan Terry Richardson, 23, was arrested after a search of a Palmerston North property yesterday.

The combined police and customs operation started on August 26 after a package containing 15 grams of methamphetamine, with a street value of about $15,000, was intercepted by customs officers at the Auckland International Mail Centre.

In the Palmerston North District Court, Richardson entered no pleas to one charge each of importing methamphetamine, a Class A drug, and possessing it for supply.

Each charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Richardson appeared before Justice of the Peace George Mathew, but because of the seriousness of the charges was unable to make a bail application.

Duty lawyer Mark Alderdice said Richardson would likely make such an application tomorrow when he re-appeared before a judge.

He was remanded in custody until then.

Detective Sergeant Dave Thompson, of the Manawatu Organised Crime Unit, said the search and arrest revealed further quantities of methamphetamine, cannabis, and MDMA powder.

''We believe the drugs have been sourced online and our ongoing partnership with customs increases our capability to dismantle organised crime networks and also apprehend those people who think they can get away with sourcing illicit drugs online.''

''This operation is a success for not only Police and Customs, but also the community because these drugs will not be making it to the streets to cause harm,'' he said.

Customs Drug Investigations manager Mark Day said targeting methamphetamine was a top priority for Customs.

The joint operation continues and further charges are likely.

Richardson is the second Palmerston North man to be arrested for importing drugs this year.

Benjamen Patrick Belmont, 19, was also caught in a police and customs sting and is facing charges of importing ecstasy, cocaine and LSD.

Manawatu Standard