The nous of a Corrections Officer helped recover more than 17kg of cannabis and jail a swag of drug growers from around the Te Puke area.
The officer saw a prison visitor attempting to smuggle contraband to a prisoner at Tongariro/Rangipo Prison, and passed this information to Corrections Intelligence who then began to monitor the prisoner's phone calls.
"It was the vigilance of a hard working Corrections Officer which tipped us off," Dave Alty, Regional Intelligence Manager for Corrections Central Region, said.
"During the phone monitoring, we heard an offender discussing details relating to the cultivation of cannabis. Police were previously aware of the offenders and through the evidence gathered during the investigation, we were able to assist in bringing the criminal group to justice."
Search warrants executed as a result of further phone monitoring helped police in the recovery of firearms, explosives, ammunition, and more than 17kg of cannabis.
The last of the group of defendants was recently sentenced in the Tauranga District Court.
Corrections hoped to reduce reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017.
"Our work with police is key to achieving this," Mr Alty said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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