More Queenstown meth bust arrests


Southern District police have made more arrests in relation to a major methamphetamine bust in Queenstown.

A 30-year-old Queenstown woman has been nabbed on six possession of methamphetamine, or “P”, for supply charges, police confirm in a statement released today. The woman has interim name suppression.

Invercargill men Richard Templeton, 32, and Tuahine Taylor, 33, are jointly facing six charges of possessing P for supply and one representative charge of selling the class A controlled drug.

Police expect to make one more arrest in relation to the sting, dubbed Operation Moses.

Operation Moses went public on April 12 after a five-month-long investigation targeting a methamphetamine supply chain based in Queenstown and Invercargill that sourced the drug from Auckland.

Cops believe that more than 100 grams of P was distributed through the supply chain, with an estimated street value over $100,000.

Queenstown tattooist Richard Allen, 31, was arrested at Queenstown Airport on April 12 after allegedly flying from Auckland with class A drug methamphetamine, is charged with conspiring with two others to supply it between January 3 and April 12, seven charges of possessing methamphetamine for supply and a charge of supplying methamphetamine.

Allen remains in custody at Invercargill Prison till July 9, when he returns to Queenstown District Court for his next appearance.

Queenstown tattooist Adam Bamford, 31, was sentenced in April to 175 hours’ community work and ordered to undergo drug and alcohol counselling for possessing cannabis, a cannabis bong and a pipe for methamphetamine.

Also allegedly linked is Hayden Mark Smith, 31 – charged with possession of ecstasy and a cannabis plant. He has been remanded on bail without plea and is expected to appear later today.

Another Queenstown woman, who has interim name suppression on the grounds that publication of her name would “cause an acute life crisis”, faces three charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply. She returns to court on July 10 for a post-committal conference.

The Auckland P lab was discovered and Auckland man Fletcher Butler, 34, was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and, together with Stephen van Engelen, 30, was charged with several dealing offences.