A good nose equals a good catch – drugs found at Southern police checkpoint

Last Friday, 27 November Operation West got underway which involved a number of western-based frontline staff from Southern District undertaking a road policing checkpoint.

The operation on SH94 near Lumsden was a simple road policing operation checking for drink driving, lack of seatbelts, mobile phone use and other traffic offending. The operation uncovered some more significant crime underway thanks to a familiar smell.

Staff stopped a car which had driven from Gore and was heading toward Te Anau. They caught a strong smell of cannabis and invoked a 2012 Search & Surveillance Act of the vehicle.

Two large chilly bins were located on the rear seat of the vehicle and were found to contain 1kg of cannabis head and over $500 in cash.

The sole occupant, a man aged 29 from Te Anau admitted he had just purchased the cannabis in Gore.

Te Anau staff continued enquiries at the 29-year-old’s home address in Te Anau where they seized cannabis, over $2,000 in cash and drug dealing equipment.

Sergeant in Charge of Te Anau Police, Tod Hollebon is pleased with “Some excellent teamwork carried out by Southland staff over the weekend with a borderless approach to policing.”

“This has resulted in Police taking a substantial amount of cannabis off the street, and uncovering a significant growing operation,” he said.

Further investigation was carried out and revealed a 45-year-old man from Gore, was responsible for the sale of the drugs.

A search of a Gore property was undertaken by staff and approximately 3kg of cannabis, several plants, and $10,000 cash were seized from that address.

“I am proud of our local police working together across the borders in Riversdale, Mataura, Gore and Invercargill, which has resulted in two arrests so far,” says Sergeant Hollebon.

The 45-year-old man from Gore was arrested will appear in the Gore District Court while the 29-year-old man from Te Anau, also arrested, will appear in the Invercargill District Court at a later date.

They will appear on drugs charges; however, enquiries are continuing, and further charges could be laid.

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