Six homes searched in P sting

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 12:58 07/11/2012
Hutt Valley sting
MAARTEN HOLL/Dominion Post

MORNING RAID: Police searched homes in the Hutt Valley as part of a sting on drugs.

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Armed police have kicked in doors across the Hutt Valley this morning targeting a methamphetamine (P) syndicate.

However, searches of six homes in Upper Hutt, Naenae and Stokes Valley have turned up little or none of the drug, police said.

Senior Sergeant Scott Cooper said the raids, which began at 8.30am and involved members of the armed offenders squad, were part of Operation Creek - a covert drug operation involving about 50 staff.

A firearm, stolen property, cannabis and equipment for growing cannabis were discovered, but little or no methamphetamine, Cooper said.

Four men and a woman aged in their 20s and 30s had been arrested and would appear in Lower Hutt District Court this afternoon on drug dealing-related charges, he said.

The operation - part of a wider crackdown on drugs called Operation Nike - was launched three months ago after policed information from the public about drug distribution, he said. Police used surveillance techniques during the operation and raided the homes under the new Search and Surveillance Act.

"They appear to be an organised group, but not a gang."

Earlier, Hutt Valley area commander Inspector Mike Hill said police intelligence suggested the drug syndicate had links with other crimes being committed in the area, he said.

Allan Willis said he was the landlord of a home in Hanson Grove, Stokes Valley that was searched by police, but he was unaware of any illegal activities going on in the house he rented out.

His daughter Emily Wills, who lived at the family home in Hanson Grove, which was not searched, said the presence of numerous police cars and a police dog in the street had resulted in a lot of early morning drama.

"There's been cars coming and going since 9.30. It's certainly different," Wills said.

At the height of the raid there were about six police cars and two vans in Hansen Grove.  

"The operation is part of our ongoing efforts to send a clear message that drug offending won't be tolerated by the Hutt Valley community," Cooper said.

Anyone with any information should contact Hutt Valley Police on (04) 560 2600 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

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