Suspected kingpin in custody after motel raid
A suspected major player in Nelson's drug scene was a "good man to have in custody", Nelson's chief policeman said today.
Nelson Bays area commander Inspector Steve Greally said the weekend arrest of fugitive Terry Jones after he was found at a Nelson motel was the end of a seven-week operation.
The fact he was found with what was believed to be a "substantial amount" of methamphetamine justified the urgency in finding him.
Jones, 44, was wanted in relation to $400,000 worth of drugs, as well as drug manufacturing equipment, cash, and a firearm police found in a Nelson storage unit in May.
As part of the nationwide drug bust dubbed Operation Genoa, 100 grams of methamphetamine and 2.4 kilograms of ephedrine were found in a Nelson storage unit in May that was registered in the name of an Auckland suspect.
Eight suspects, including a Nelson woman, were arrested in Auckland as part of Operation Genoa on May 5.
Drugs, cash and assets worth more than $12 million have been seized as a result of the nine-month inquiry, which spanned Auckland, Waikato and the top of the South Island.
Nelson armed police and detectives arrested Jones about 4am yesterday.
Detective Sergeant Chris Roberts, of Nelson, said Jones has been the subject of wide national publicity. Police were confident that his arrest would have an impact in decreasing the supply, use and "associated social carnage in our district methamphetamine so often causes", Roberts said.
Greally declined to give details on which motel Jones had been found at, or how he had been found.
"It's now a matter before the court, and it's really important we get that right," Greally said.
Roberts said the successful result of the operation came about through a steady stream of information provided by the public for which police were "extremely grateful".
Jones was due to appear in the Nelson District Court today on charges in relation to the raid. Two other arrests were made at the motel, with a man and woman likely to face charges in relation to the drug find.
Jones will face additional charges that related to the discovery in May of the clandestine methamphetamine laboratory in the Nelson secure lock-up unit.
Jones was arrested as part of Operation Explorer in 2011. Prior to the weekend arrest he was on bail and due to reappear in court in July to face 28 charges, including the supply and sale of methamphetamine.
The Nelson Mail