Police bust high-tech cannabis growing operation

WANTED: Shane Owen Bond, 33.
WANTED: Shane Owen Bond, 33.

Police are on the lookout for a King Country man they say has been growing and producing drugs using a sophisticated solar-powered system worth about $30,000.

A complex illegal drug operation - including a meth lab and a horsefloat converted for growing cannabis - were found at the property of Shane Owen Bond, 33.Police are now asking the public to help find Bond.Bond wasn't at home when officers spent two days searching his property in Aria, south of Te Kuiti, earlier in March.

"Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the whole illegal drug operation was that it was all being powered by a quite sophisticated system utilising power provided by around $30,000 worth of solar panels and batteries," Detective Paul Galletta of the Waipa CIB said.

"Police located a number of items of interest including a disused barn concealing a functional methamphetamine laboratory, a horse float that had been lined and converted into a indoor cannabis growing operation and a large cylindrical water tank that had also been converted into an indoor growing room."

Several firearms - including a homemade pistol - were also found during the search conducted under the Search and Surveillance Act.

Following the discoveries, a warrant was issued for Mr Bond's arrest in relation to unlawful possession of a pistol, manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of precursors and equipment for the manufacture of methamphetamine, cultivation of cannabis and possession of cannabis charges.

Bond is Caucasian and of medium build but should not be approached.