Four charged after discovery of rural Coromandel meth lab

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Police News Alert Issued 7.20pm 30 December

“Four charged after discovery of rural Coromandel meth lab”

A senior Waikato detective is praising the actions of two officers who, following their instincts, recovered quantities of methamphetamine, cash, chemicals and a loaded firearm near Whitianga yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Dave Grace of the Waikato CIB said the pair were travelling on the 309 Road, south west of Whitianga late yesterday afternoon when they noticed a woman astride a quad-bike and a man in a utility behind her in the driveway of a supposedly unoccupied rural property.

“The pair claimed to be at the property checking security but then the male, who had gotten out of his vehicle to speak to the officers, ran back to the utility and was seen throwing an object out the window.

“A subsequent search established the object thrown was a jar containing methamphetamine and the officers also located a .22 pistol, some scales, close to $5000 in cash and a meth pipe.”

Mr Grace said the man and woman were arrested and charged jointly with possession of methamphetamine for supply and unlawful possession of a firearm.

“The officers decided they had better check the property was secure and when they reached the house they were surprised to find two men inside operating a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.

“These two men were also arrested and were both charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. All four appeared in the Hamilton District Court today where they were all remanded in custody to reappear tomorrow.”

Mr Grace said the isolated property was secured by members of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad overnight to allow an Auckland based Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratory Team to clear the property today.

“Of concern, yesterday’s offending involved illicit drugs and illegally obtained firearms which is why Police need to secure properties with armed officers to ensure the safety of not only our own staff but the public and offenders as well.”

Mr Grace said Police want to hear from anyone with information on drug offending and they asked those persons to contact their nearest Police station, your calls will be treated in confidence.

Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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