30 Mar 2012

Bay of Plenty drug operation makes 150 arrests

12:13 pm on 30 March 2012

Police say 150 people have been arrested in Bay of Plenty for cultivating cannabis and distributing and manufacturing illicit drugs such as methamphetamine.

The arrests are part of a drug operation that has been running since early February.

Police say the first phase of the operation focused on finding and destroying outdoor cannabis-growing operations.

The second phase, which involved the execution of 183 search warrants, took place in early March and resulted in 150 people being arrested on a total of 291 charges.

Police say two methamphetamine clandestine laboratories were found in Tauranga as well as several sophisticated indoor cannabis-growing operations.

32,000 cannabis plants have been destroyed since the operation began.

Police say they have also seized 36 firearms and recovered stolen property to the value of more than $115,000.