Christchurch trio deny drug charges
Three Christchurch people charged with drug-related offences arising from the police's Operation Nebraska nationwide investigation have pleaded not guilty and are electing to have a jury trial, which may be held in Wellington.
Four alleged offenders appeared before Judge Christopher Somerville in the Christchurch District Court.
One of them Jamie Daniel Robinson, a 27-year-old storeperson from Riccarton, faces the largest number of charges - 18.
The charges allege supplying and offering to supply methamphetamine, producing, possessing and supplying the class C drug benzylpiperazine (BZP or party pills), as well as obtaining credit by deception, and unlawful possession of a sawn-off shotgun and cartridges.
Defence counsel Michael Starling asked for Robinson to be remanded on bail to another date in Christchurch, without plea. Judge Somerville continued bail for the remand to March 14.
Hugh James Robinson, a 58-year-old manager from Riccarton, pleaded not guilty to five charges: possession and conspiracy to deal in drugs, producing BZP, and unlawful possession of a sawn-off shotgun and cartridges.
Elizabeth Wendy Morrison, a 44-year-old fishery worker from Sumner, denied charges of supplying and conspiring to supply methamphetamine.
A 42-year-old Linwood mother, who has a six-year-old child, was granted continued name suppression on charges of conspiring to deal with methamphetamine and possession of the drug for supply. She denies both charges.
The three who have elected trial were all remanded on bail to a case review hearing in Wellington on April 10. Prosecutor Stephen Burdes said the charges had originated in Wellington.
Counsel for the Linwood woman, Andrew McKenzie, said he accepted that the case review hearing would be held in Wellington, but he did not accept that the trial should eventually be held there.