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A motorcycle gang has been busted for running an illegal bar involving more than $19,000 worth of alcohol after armed police stormed its Tauranga headquarters looking for drugs.
The Filthy Few motorcycle gang bar has been shut down and two club members, Dennis (Deano) Michael Pedersen, 52, and his younger brother Jeffrey Bruce Pedersen, 45, have pleaded guilty to charges relating to illegal alcohol sales.
They were fined $2000 each in Tauranga District Court recently.
The charges followed a raid by Tauranga armed offenders squad at the Filthy Few headquarters in Birch Ave in September - at the same time as a drug search was carried out.
During the raid police found a "tick-book credit system" in a bar area, with entries relating to members of the Filthy Few.
More than 40 dozen unopened beer and RTD bottles were also found at the headquarters, along with more than $2500 cash that was alleged to be the proceeds from alcohol sales.
All the alcohol and the cash seized has been forfeited to the Crown under court orders.
Evidence was found to indicate more than $19,000 worth of alcohol had been bought for the club between November 2008 and August 2009.
Police wearing stab-proof vests congregated on the footpath outside the Filthy Few headquarters before the raid, and by about 10.20am, police were signalled to enter the headquarters to conduct the search, which took about seven hours.
At the time, other gang members faced drug-related charges.
More than 1000 dozen bottles of beer and RTDs were bought through a local business operated by Dennis Pedersen.
Dennis Pedersen refused to comment to the Bay of Plenty Times.
Alcohol harm prevention officer for the Western Bay of Plenty, Sergeant Nigel McGlone, said the laying of such charges was unusual but illegal bars would not be ignored either. "It doesn't matter whether you are a club, a gang, a school PTA running fundraising quiz nights or whatever - the rules are the same for everyone."