Drugs charge reduced again

A Queenstown woman initially charged with possession of drugs after a five-month police operation targeting an alleged P-ring was remanded at large yesterday while she pursued police diversion.

Sarah Rose Fry, 25, appeared in the Queenstown District Court before Judge Kevin Phillips.

She was one of nine people arrested during Operation Moses, which busted an alleged methamphetamine supply chain based in Queenstown and Invercargill that sourced P from a clandestine Auckland lab.

Police, including the armed offenders squad, targeted properties in Queenstown and Auckland during raids in April.

Fry was initially charged with possessing methamphetamine, but the charge was amended to one of possession of cocaine.

The charge was amended again yesterday to making a false statement that an offence of unlawful possession of drugs had been committed.

Lawyer Sonia Vidal entered a guilty plea for Fry.

She said her client sought police diversion.

Judge Phillips did not enter a conviction and remanded Fry at large for diversion to be completed by November 5.

Meanwhile, two Auckland men charged in relation to the police operation appeared in the Auckland District Court.

Fletcher Craig Andrew Butler, 34, and Stephen Ron Van Engelen, 30, appeared last Friday.

Butler faces nine charges - conspiracy to supply methamphetamine, making methamphetamine and seven counts of supplying the drug.

He was remanded on bail to appear in court again on November 6.

Van Engelen faces four charges of supplying methamphetamine and one of conspiring to supply it. He was remanded to the Auckland court for two hearings, on Friday and on November 6.

The Southland Times