An alleged dangerous drug dealer who had been on the run for almost a year has been arrested by New Plymouth police.
Randolf Terrence Bennett, 44, had been evading police since escaping while being escorted to a prison van outside Tokoroa District Court in December.
Bennett was arrested in a pre-Christmas drug bust in South Waikato, code-named Operation Harvest, and faced a raft of drug-related charges including dealing methamphetamine.
The long-arm of the law, however, brought Bennett's freedom to an end this week when armed police raided a rural house on Wharekauri Rd, just North of Urenui on Tuesday.
Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward said Bennett surrendered to police.
Mr Coward said a firearm was found at the address along with a small amount of cannabis and methamphetamine.
Police had been acting on information received from the public.
Bennett has been remanded in custody to appear in the Tokoroa District Court on November 23.
A 48-year-old man who lived at the house was also arrested and is facing a firearms charge and is due to appear in the New Plymouth District Court.
Operation Harvest netted 12 people in the South Waikato region involved in supplying meth - as well as one in Taranaki
- Taranaki Daily News
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