23 Dec 2012

Drug lab accused trio being held in prison

5:59 am on 23 December 2012

Three men arrested on Saturday and accused of running a major drug laboratory in Wellington have been remanded at Rimutaka Prison over the weekend.

The trio, all aged 22, from Hutt Valley and Wellington, are charged with manufacturing MDMA (ecstasy) as well as possessing the drug for supply. They will appear in Wellington District Court on Monday.

Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson said the lab appears to be a full-scale commercial operation, manufacturing thousands of pills, possibly for distribution over the New Year period.

He said a pill press that can churn out about 2000 pills an hour, had been seized.

"That is of considerable significance and concern to the police because of the amount of harm MDMA can cause in the community."

Specialist police and scientists will examine the scene over the next few days.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Leitch said the men are likely to be granted bail. He did not rule out the possibility of more arrests.