Man pleads not guilty in $50m Christchurch meth bust

Author
Kurt Bayer, NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 4 December 2017, 1:37PM
One man has pleaded not guilty in New Zealand's biggest ever meth bust, while the second man is yet to enter a plea. (Photo \ File)
One man has pleaded not guilty in New Zealand's biggest ever meth bust, while the second man is yet to enter a plea. (Photo \ File)

One of the two men charged over the South Island's biggest ever P bust has pleaded not guilty today and will stand trial next year.

Jonathan Seal, 25, and Michael Harrison-Cooper, 31, were charged after a $50 million methamphetamine bust in Christchurch last month.

They face charges of importing a Class A drug, and possession of methamphetamine for supply.

At Christchurch District Court this morning, Seal entered a not guilty plea through defence counsel Stephen Hembrow and elected trial by jury.

He is remanded in custody until his next appearance on December 14.

The name of the business where the package was allegedly sent has been suppressed.

Harrison-Cooper is yet to enter a plea and will reappear in court on December 18.

The drugs arrived into Christchurch in an airfreight consignment sent from Mexico on November 1, police say.

Detailed examination found 49kg of methamphetamine concealed within a shipment of safety lights.

It consisted of 40 separate packages of around 1-1.2kg each, which have yet to be further forensically examined to determine the exact weight of the product.

Police say the drugs had a potential street value of $50m, and the seizure has prevented $60.71m of "additional community harm".

Search warrants were executed at a number of addresses in Christchurch and in Auckland after a two-week joint police and Customs operation.

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