Operation Sylvester guilty verdicts

Operation Sylvester guilty verdicts

Commissioner Mike Bush

Ngā mihi. The past week saw a significant result in our work to disrupt the methamphetamine trade and the organised crime groups that run it with guilty verdicts against seven people involved in the drug ring at the centre of Operation Sylvester.

Those found guilty included five members of the Head Hunters, who between them faced a range of charges including manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing the drug for supply, illegal possession of firearms and being part of an organised crime group.

Operation Sylvester was conducted in 2015 and targeted the Head Hunters’ involvement in the methamphetamine trade. It was led by our National Organised Crime Group and dozens of officers from the Auckland City, Waitematā, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Northland districts took part in its termination.

The guilty verdicts are a testament to all the hard work that was put in to gather evidence and prepare a solid case for prosecution. A terrific result all round.

Working together to bust the drugs trade

The recent seizure of a large quantity of methamphetamine being imported from Hong Kong highlighted the value of the strong partnerships Police has built with other law enforcement agencies here and abroad.

The drugs had been chemically masked in a bid to avoid detection, but thanks to the close co-operation between Police, Customs and our law enforcement colleagues in China, it was picked up at the border. Four people have since been arrested and charged with offences relating to the seizure.

New Zealand Police puts a lot of time and effort into establishing and maintaining the strong relationships we have with other agencies who are also working to prevent the harm caused by drugs and organised crime, and it’s always very satisfying when we get great results like this. Congratulations to all involved.

Honouring fallen police dogs

On Wednesday we had a moving reminder of the sacrifice police dogs have made with the unveiling of a memorial wall at the Police Dog Training Centre.

The wall commemorates the 24 dogs that have died on duty since 1972, and the ceremony was attended by a number of serving and retired handlers. They included Constable Josh Robertson, whose dog Gazza was shot in Porirua last year, and Senior Constable Bruce Lamb, whose dog Gage was shot in Christchurch in 2010.

Both handlers have credited their dogs with saving them from death or serious injury by putting themselves between their handlers and the gunmen.

Police dogs play a really important role in helping us keep our communities safe and preventing harm, so it’s fitting that those that have died while performing their roles have this wonderful memorial.

You can see coverage of the ceremony on our national Police Facebook and Instagram pages as well as our newly-launched Snapchat page (search for nz-police on Snapchat).

That’s all for this week. Until next time, stay safe and keep up the great work.

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