Queenstown P-accused gets suppression

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A Queenstown woman allegedly linked to a major drug ring has been remanded without plea.

The woman, who has been granted interim name suppression, faces three charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply.

In Queenstown District Court today (Monday), Judge Michael Turner approved name suppression on the grounds of mental health, accepting a doctor’s opinion that publication of her name would “cause an acute life crisis”.

She will next appear on July 10 for a post-committal conference.

In the meantime she has been granted bail, with conditions including not being allowed to enter licensed premises, to purchase or consume illegal drugs and not to associate with fellow drug-bust-accused and tattooists Richard Allen or Adam Bamford.

Judge Michael Turner told the woman that the interim name suppression order was in no way an indication that it would become a final order.

Allen, 31, nabbed at Queenstown Airport 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 June 11, when he returns to Queenstown District Court for a post-committal conference.

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

Police made the arrests after a five-month investigation dubbed Operation Moses which targeted the supply of illegal drugs – with a street value of tens of thousands of dollars – in the Wakatipu.

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, yet to be named, is to appear before the courts in relation to the drug ring.

Two Auckland men, Fletcher Craig Andrew Butler and Stephen van Engelen, both 34, have also been charged in Auckland District Court.