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Inmate faces assault charges

Last updated 05:00 07/06/2012

A Taranaki man in custody after his arrest in a Rebels gang drug bust has appeared in court after being charged with assaulting inmates at New Plymouth Prison.

Yesterday Nathan Couper, 37, whom police allege is a Taranaki Rebels member, appeared in New Plymouth District Court charged with assault with intent to injure and common assault.

The alleged assaults occurred at the prison, where Couper is on remand.

His counsel, Turitea Bolstad, asked Community Magistrate Jack Best for a further remand on the two latest charges when pleas would be entered.

The magistrate remanded Couper until June 13.

In September, he was charged with participating in a criminal group with two others, conspiring to supply cocaine, conspiring with seven others to supply methamphetamine, cultivating cannabis, conspiring with nine others to supply ecstasy and stealing electricity worth between $500 and $1000 from Powerco.

In September last year about 20 people were arrested in Taranaki, Northland and Levin after a police undercover operation code-named Operation Puff.


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