Friday, 8 December 2023 - 3:54pm |

“Southern swarm” takedown, further arrests as part of Operation Bear

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Some of the items seized during Operation Bear.

Attributable to Detective Senior Sergeant Shane Dye, Tasman Organised Crime Unit:

Police have arrested five people including one Killer Beez gang member, and seized cash and drugs as Operation Bear continues.

Operation Bear has targeted those in leadership positions within the Killer Beez and the gang’s involvement in sale and supply of methamphetamine. In total 12 gang members have now been brought before the court.

This week four further search warrants have been executed, one in Christchurch and three in the Tasman Policing District.

On Thursday 8 December members of the Canterbury Organised Crime Unit assisted the Tasman-based operation, apprehending a Killer Beez gang member and an associate as part of a search warrant at a Christchurch address.

During the search an indoor cannabis growing operation was located and 61 plants were seized along with $5,000 cash and a taser.

A 30-year-old man is facing charges in relation to being part of an organised criminal group, along with drugs and unlawful possession of an offensive weapon charges, and is due to reappear In the Christchurch District Court Friday 22 December.

A 31-year-old woman residing at the address appeared at the Christchurch District Court on 7 December, charged with cultivating cannabis.

On Thursday 8 December three Tasman-based associates of the Killer Beez were apprehended following search warrants executed at a Nelson based address and on vehicles located in public places in Motueka and Blenheim. Two of those arrested were apprehended after being stopped in vehicles in Motueka and Blenheim.

All three are alleged to have regularly purchased methamphetamine from the Killer Beez for on-supply in Nelson and Blenheim. They are facing charges of conspiracy to supply methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine for supply.

Two Nelson-based men aged 41 and 60 are due to appear at the Nelson District Court today, Friday 8 December, and a 29-year-old Blenheim man is due to appear in the Blenheim District Court today, Friday 8 December.

In total 12 members of the Killer Beez “Southern Swarm” have now been charged with participating in an organised criminal group, being involved in conspiracies to supply methamphetamine and other drug-dealing offences in relation to the supply of methamphetamine across the upper South Island.

Tasman Police will continue to use all legal options available to us to investigate those involved in the distribution of methamphetamine. We work hard to disrupt any organised criminal group or gang who prey on the vulnerable in our community, and profit from the sale of controlled drugs.

We are committed to holding to account those who bring harm to the community through the supply of methamphetamine and we need the help of our community to do so.

Information is key to any investigation, and we urge anyone who has any information that may assist in identifying and apprehending dealers of controlled substances, to contact us on 105 or via 111 if you see suspicious activity now.

Alternatively, you can report any information anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

For assistance with drug and alcohol addiction there are several organisations available to assist, one of which is the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797 or online at: Alcohol Drug Helpline


Issued by Police Media Centre 

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Some of the items seized during Operation Bear.
Some of the items seized during Operation Bear. JPG - 372KB