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Raid nets meth and firearms

PHOTO/FILE

Methamphetamine and converted firearms were seized, and five men were arrested during a police raid in Masterton on Wednesday night.

Police searched a Colombo Rd property at about 7.30pm, where they found five men breaching covid-19 lockdown restrictions and in possession of methamphetamine and converted weapons.

Three of the men appeared in Masterton District Court on Thursday, and the two others were warned for covid-19 lockdown breaches.

Alex Constable, 46, was charged with possession of a cut-down .22 rifle with ammunition, and Jason Hart, 24, was charged with possession of a .303 rifle with ammunition. The other man, James Cole, 50, was charged with possession of a class-A controlled drug.

All three were remanded in police custody.

Wairarapa Police Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said there was a growing trend in the criminal community to be manufacturing or improvising their own firearms.

One example is a paintball gun which, with some skill, can be converted to use bullets.

Weapons like this were “extremely dangerous and are only in the hands of our criminal element”.

Miller said “only a small amount” of methamphetamine was found at the Colombo Rd property.

Because borders had been locked down to some extent over the past month, availability of methamphetamine had “dropped off”, he said.

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