Gang figure sought in nationwide drug bust
Police have found $400,000 of drugs in a Nelson storage unit and are looking for an ex-Red Devils member who they believe might be able to tell them about rival gangs cooking and supplying millions of dollars worth of methamphetamine across the country.
As part of the nationwide drug bust dubbed Operation Genoa, 100 grams of methamphetamine and 2.4 kilograms of ephedrine were found in a Nelson storage unit that was registered in the name of an Auckland suspect.
Eight suspects, including a Nelson woman, were arrested in Auckland as part of Operation Genoa on May 5.
Drugs, cash and assets worth more than $12 million have been seized as a result of the nine-month inquiry, which spanned Auckland, Waikato and the top of the South Island.
Police believe a former Red Devils gang member in Nelson has been working with the Auckland-based Head Hunters outlaw motorcycle gang to continue to manufacture and supply methamphetamine.
Police are looking for 44-year-old Terry Jones of Richmond and say they "hope he may be able to assist with ongoing inquiries".
Jones was arrested as part of Operation Explorer in 2011.
He is on bail and due to reappear in court in July to face 28 charges, including the supply and sale of methamphetamine.
Jones, who is European, 175 centimetres tall and has a distinctive birthmark on his left cheek, was previously sentenced in the High Court at Christchurch on blackmail charges.
He was one of three people who were jailed after they made threats to a man when between $30,000 and $50,000 cash apparently connected to Nelson's Red Devils bikie gang went missing.
The cash had been buried on a farm.
Jones was jailed for two years, six months.
Police also allege Nelsonian Lisa Marie Ryan, 51, was laundering money for the drug ring.
Many of the properties and cars seized by police were in Ryan's name.
She was arrested in Auckland.
District Commander Superintendent Richard Chambers said any information from the public regarding Jones would be greatly appreciated.
Police across the country were working hard to tackle the issues at hand, he said.
"It was clearly a well-organised and professional operation and I have no doubt the end product was destined for the South Island and further afield," he said.
"Everything required to manufacture about $1.5 million of methamphetamine was right there in the unit.
The links to the Red Devils and Head Hunters gangs were no surprise, he said this morning.
"We have always said these groups exist primarily for illegal activity and in particular the drug trade and they will not be tolerated in this district."
"The pressure that is being applied for these individuals and these groups is not going subside any time soon, we will continue to police their behaviour.
"We are going to be relentless in policing these groups in our district and we will work with our colleagues in other parts of the country.
"We will continue to remind these people that this is not an ideal location to attempt to establish their criminal activities."
The Nelson Mail