17 arrested in Waimate raids

Seventeen people have been arrested following a drugs bust in Waimate.

Police conducted search warrants at 13 addresses in the township and one at a rural address, following four months of planning, Sergeant Mike van der Heyden said.

"We have received a substantial amount of cannabis and a small amount of powder."

He could not yet confirm what the powder was.

The event, called "Operation Chiron", took place on Tuesday and involved 30 police officers from Mid and South Canterbury and Otago.

Those arrested included male and female, aged in their early teens up to 40. They face a total of 40 charges relating to the sale and supply of cannabis and methamphetamine. Charges also include possession of cannabis, utensils and prescription medication.

Mr van der Heyden said while a drugs bust of this size was not normal for Waimate, this week's operation was expected to result in a series of arrests.

"Obviously we were aware of what we were going to be walking into [based on] the number of staff involved in the operation."

Drug bust operations are ongoing in the district, he said.

The Timaru Herald