It has been a busy week for ‘Officer Ted’ the Waikeria Prison drug dog and his handler with three significant drug finds.
The first find was a visitor to the prison in possession of a large amount of methamphetamine.
On a routine search of the visitor's vehicle the drug dog handler noticed the person attempting to conceal something down his trousers. The prison drug dog then indicated the presence of drugs in the vehicle and a subsequent search found a methamphetamine pipe in the vehicle glove box.
The visitor was requested to hand over the item he was seen to place down his trousers. When he denied having anything on his person he was detained by the drug dog handler and Police were called to conduct a search. Police then located around $1000 worth of methamphetamine under the visitor's testicles.
Introducing contraband into the prison is an offence under section 141 of the Corrections Act 2004, and staff can detain visitors like this until Police arrive.
“It is very common for visitors to think that concealing contraband in what can be considered private places on their body will mean they will not be found. Under the Corrections Act 2004 we can detain visitors suspected of doing this until Police arrive to conduct thorough searches,” says Prison Manager Kevin Smith.
The second find this week was the result of a routine search of all property posted or couriered into the prison.
The prison’s drug dog indicated the presence of drugs in one package addressed to a prisoner and, combined with the good work of the receiving office property staff, the package was found to contain $1000 worth of Morphine, Diazepam and Cannabis. The package has now been handed over to the Police.
The third find was a visitor to the prison being found to have 20 grams of cannabis hidden behind panels in her vehicle. The find was located by the prison drug dog during a routine search of visitor vehicles and the person was subsequently arrested.
“All three finds are the result of the ongoing vigilance by our prison drug dogs and their handlers. "These incidents serve as a strong message to anyone thinking of bringing contraband into our prisons that you will get caught and you will face the full consequences of your illegal action.
"We have a number of initiatives in place to prevent drugs and other contraband entering the prison including visitor searches, vehicle checkpoints, and the use of drug detector dogs which means the chance you will get caught means it just isn’t worth it.”
It is standard practice for Corrections to involve the Police when drugs are detected. Visitors who are caught attempting to introduce illegal items are also likely to be banned from future visits to the prison for up to twelve months.
Notes to Editors
Waikeria prison is New Zealand’s largest prison employing around 480 staff.
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