Major drug haul at routine road stop

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN
Last updated 12:58 24/07/2014

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Police conducting a routine road stop in Central Otago have grabbed a ''substantial'' drug haul.

Inspector Andrew Burns said about 4pm yesterday constables Patrick Greaney and Leon Burdett from the Alexandra-based Rural Drink Drive Team pulled over a vehicle in Scotland Street, Roxburgh, after noticing its driver was not wearing a safety belt.

When the passenger produced a small bag of cannabis, the officers searched the car and found ''significant quantities'' of cannabis and cash, and what police believed to be ecstasy and LSD .

The driver tried to run from the scene with a bag containing ecstasy and cannabis but was chased down.

Burns said the drug haul represented ''a very good catch'' by the rural drink-drive staff with great support from the local Roxburgh constable, and showed that routine road stops could uncover serious offending.

''It clearly demonstrates that road stops which might appear routine can sometimes bring to light more than simply traffic offending," he said.

"In this case, the staff who stopped the vehicle were alerted to the presence of drugs and used their initiative to investigate further.

"There's no doubt that this great work from our staff will have had an impact on preventing some of the significant harm that drugs cause in our communities.''

Otago Rural CIB staff were now leading the inquiry and investigating the men's activities further.

It was too early to put an exact figure on the amount of drugs and cash being carried by the men, but it appeared likely the drugs were for selling, Burns said.

The two 23-year-old Dunedin men will appear in the Alexandra District Court today on several drugs charges.

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