Court Faces Man on Numerous Drug Charges After Joint Probe

A Wellington man is due to reappear in court next month on multiple charges of importing large quantities of a variety of controlled drugs.

This comes after a joint Police and Customs investigation – codenamed Operation Maserati - into the importation and supply of methamphetamine, cocaine, GBL, and ketamine across the Wellington region.

Detective Senior Sergeant Hamish Blackburn of the Wellington District Organised Crime Unit says the charges were filed after five search warrants were carried out at properties across Wellington District over the last week.

A firearm was also recovered from a vehicle used to transport these drugs.

The 33-year-old man arrested is remanded in custody and is due to reappear in Wellington District Court on 5 July 2024. Further charges are likely.

The joint investigation commenced after Customs was alerted to several significant importations into Wellington City.

Chief Customs Officer Regional Investigations, Rachel Manning said, "Customs is pleased that the range of intelligence we were able to gather and analyse has alerted our Police partners to this criminal activity and helped them break up what was a significant drug-smuggling operation.

DSS Blackburn says, "We will be continuing enquiries with our offshore partner agencies to identify the source that exported the drugs to New Zealand.

"Police and Customs are committed to identifying and disrupting the importation of these types of drugs which target our communities.

"We are committed to holding offenders to account, and delivering on our intent to keep New Zealanders safe," he says.

The charges faced by the arrested man include:

2x Supply of Fantasy substances

2x Supply Methamphetamine

2x Conspiracy to Deal Class A Drug

2x Conspiracy to Deal Methamphetamine

2x Possession of Methamphetamine for Supply

1x Possession of Cocaine for Supply

2x Importing Methamphetamine

2x Importing Fantasy substances

2x Importing Stimulants/Depressants

1x Failure to carry out obligations for computer search

Information on unusual and suspicious activity can be reported anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) might be of the point-in-time nature, and edited for clarity, style and length. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all views, positions, and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the author(s).View in full here.