Four dawn drug raids in Queenstown

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Nine Queenstown men have been arrested during a series of early-morning drug busts in the resort.

Police first carried out search warrants last Thursday at a Sunshine Bay property and discovered a cannabis plant and “numerous bongs and utensils”, constable Sean Drader says.

“Several occupants were arrested as they all put their hands up to owning the utensils.”

Two glaziers, both aged 20, and a 21-year-old arborist were arrested.

Shortly afterwards, another bust was carried out at a Fernhill address that resulted in the arrest of three local chefs.

A 36-year-old man has been charged with possession, supply and cultivation of cannabis while his flatmates, aged 33 and 36, were collared for possession of cannabis and utensils.

Last Friday cops made another early-morning bust in Queenstown and arrested an unemployed 23-year-old male for possessing cannabis utensils and a 21-year-old pizza manager for possessing cannabis seeds and a pipe.

On Tuesday this week, an 18-year-old landscape gardener was arrested during a bust at a Frankton address for possession of cannabis for supply and possession of utensils.

“I don’t think there’s any more cannabis around,” Drader says.

“A lot of the time these people get arrested because people in the community aren’t happy with them … they’re not prepared to put up with drug use.”

False fire starter
A drunken 20-year-old Brazilian tourist sparked the evacuation of a backpackers after she allegedly set off a fire alarm deliberately last Friday.

The woman, staying at Base Backpackers, supposedly flipped the switch at 12.50am, resulting in more than 100 people being evacuated, Drader says.

“CCTV footage showed she was doing it.

“Two fire engines were called out … [the firefighters are] volunteers, they’re not very impressed by that kind of thing.

“It’s an offence to set off a fire alarm like that. She wasn’t bailed [immediately] because she was so drunk, so she was given some time to sober up in the cells.”

Cheap and nasty
Queenstown police prevented eight Israeli tourists from bunking down in women’s toilets in Frankton last Friday.

Cops found the group of men taking shelter from the rain at the Frankton Beach toilets – they were in the middle of cooking their dinner and playing poker, Drader says. “They were staying in a small multi-
coloured VW van with a bed on the roof and got moved along because you can’t camp down there.

“It’s classic tourist behaviour. We see a lot of nationalities trying to do it on the cheap.”

Pig hunt
Cops were called to recover two kunekune piglets “running amok” at a Bowen Street address last Saturday night.
“They’d rutted up the lawn but managed to escape into the dense bush in Bowen St so police couldn’t catch them,” Drader says. “We do get wild pigs round here.”

His colleague, constable Aaron Redaelli, adds: “Keep an eye out because they’re sure to be very tasty.”

Drunken antics
Two Queenstown men aged 20 and 21 were arrested for fighting outside the Night ‘n’ Day store on Shotover St last Saturday.

“Both were in denial over the incident but they were seen fighting by police,” Drader says.

The next night a 26-year-old Queenstown man was found by cops in The Mall intoxicated and without shoes.

“He refused to find his way home or give his details or his address, so we looked after him.

“He was taken to the cells to have a sleep.

“Most of the ones we get have shoes but the odd one doesn’t. But we take them however they come.”