Guilty plea over illegal supply of firearms

As stated by Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson, Bay of Plenty District:

A key individual in the illegal supply of firearms in the Bay of Plenty has this week pleaded guilty to a number of charges.

The 34-year-old man will be sentenced in the Rotorua District Court on 2 July.

Police became aware of the man’s activity in December 2020 and began an investigation into his involvement into the illegal supply of firearms.

The man never held a firearms licence, so was unable to purchase firearms from retailers directly.

He asked two associates who held their own firearms licences to purchase firearms on his behalf.

He acquired the firearms and then subsequently sold these on the black market which made their way into the hands of unlicensed individuals involved in criminal activity.

The man pleaded guilty to four firearms charges, including sale and supply of firearms and unlawfully carrying a firearm, along with two charges of supplying methamphetamine.

Removing this individual from the chain of the illegal supply of firearms is only going to benefit our communities.

Police will continue to target organised crime groups and individuals who continue to pose a risk to our communities though the illegal sale and supply of firearms.

Disrupting the illegal supply of firearms to gangs and organised criminal groups, which enables firearms violence, is a key focus of Operation Tauwhiro, a national operation focused on harm prevention and enforcement.

We are committed to disrupting these kinds of criminal groups, and the community can also play a part to help prevent further harm they cause.

“Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity, or who suspects organised crime or gang activity in their neighbourhood, is urged to contact Police.”

You can report it online at 105.police.govt.nz, call Police on 105, or report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

/NZ Police Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.