Levin Drugs Bust

Cannabis plants - Op Octopus 2014Police disrupt cannabis growing operation

By alan Tristram

The police have disrupted a sophisticated cannabis growing network operating from Levin, seizing almost half a million dollars worth of assets.

Operation Octopus which ended this week involved a search warrant being executed at a rural property in Levin. The operation covered an eight month investigation into an illicit drug supplier in Auckland.

Officers supported by the Armed Offenders Squad searched the property and located a sophisticated indoor growing cannabis operation.

Forty-two plants in various stages of growth were seized — 36 were located inside and 6 were located growing outside. Seven firearms were also seized, one of which was a loaded shotgun found in a bedroom.

Police seized under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 the rural property, a boat and trailer, a 4×4 vehicle, and a ride on lawn mower.Boat - Op Octopus 2014

“This operation sends a strong message to those in the criminal fraternity that crime does not pay. You can expect to be caught and where appropriate assets seized for forfeiture proceedings,” says Constable Jim Dunlop, Operation Octopus Coordinator.

He says: “We will take swift action against those who spread harm through supplying and selling illicit drugs.”

Police believe the cannabis grown at the property was being transported to Auckland for sale there.

A 47-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman have been jointly charged with cultivating cannabis, possession of cannabis for supply, and selling cannabis.

Further charges against the two are likely. They will both appear in the Levin District Court on the 20th of February.

Staff from the Manawatü, Horowhenua, and Wellington were involved in the operation. Twelve staff executed the warrant at the property.

Constable Dunlop says: “An immense amount of time and effort from various units within the Police and other organisations was put into this operation and as a result a sizeable dent has been made in the cultivation, sale, and supply of cannabis in the North Island.

“Police are committed to dismantling illicit drug networks and public support is vital in helping us keep drugs out of communities ensuring they are safe places to live,” says Constable Dunlop. Coastline Behavioral Health – Orange County intensive outpatient treatment is an effective therapeutic reabilitation tool.

If anyone has any information about drug cultivation, manufacture or supply rings please contact your local Police Station. Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.