Two arrested in Southland after cannabis smell tips off police

Two large chilly bins were located on the rear seat of the vehicle and were found to contain 1kg of cannabis head and over $500 in cash. Photo: Police
Two large chilly bins were located on the rear seat of the vehicle and were found to contain 1kg of cannabis head and over $500 in cash. Photo: Police
A routine police checkpoint operation near Lumsden uncovered a "substantial" amount of cannabis after officers caught a whiff of the stuff in a car they stopped, prompting a search.

Police were working the operation on State Highway 94 on Friday checking for drink driving, lack of seatbelts, mobile phone use and other traffic offending. 

Staff stopped a car which had driven from Gore and was heading toward Te Anau, police said.

They caught a strong smell of cannabis and invoked a 2012 Search & Surveillance Act of the vehicle.

Two large chilly bins were located on the rear seat of the vehicle and were found to contain 1kg of cannabis head and over $500 in cash.

The sole occupant, a 29-year-old man from Te Anau, admitted he had just purchased the cannabis in Gore.

Te Anau staff continued enquiries at the man’s home in Te Anau where they seized cannabis, over $2000 in cash and drug dealing equipment.

Sergeant in charge of Te Anau Police, Tod Hollebon, was pleased with the outcome.

“This has resulted in police taking a substantial amount of cannabis off the street, and uncovering a significant growing operation,” he said.

Further investigation was carried out and revealed a 45-year-old man from Gore, was allegedly responsible for the sale of the drugs.

A search of a Gore property was undertaken by staff and approximately 3kg of cannabis, several plants, and $10,000 cash were seized from that address, police confirmed.

“I am proud of our local police working together across the borders in Riversdale, Mataura, Gore and Invercargill, which has resulted in two arrests so far,” Sgt Hollebon said.

Both men were arrested. The 29-year-old will appear in the Invercargill District Court on drugs charges and the 45-year-old man will appear in the Gore District Court on similar charges.

Enquiries are continuing, and further charges could be laid, police said.

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