Red Devils' trial split
A trial for some of the key players arrested in an operation targeting the Red Devils will be split in two.
The case had a callover in the High Court in Nelson yesterday and a trial date was nominally set for October 29.
Crown prosecutor Jackson Webber said the trial, which was set down for six weeks, would be split with one group of nine defendants and 11 defendants in the other.
Twenty-eight people – most from Nelson – were arrested for dealing offences in a variety of drugs and for being part of an organised crime group following a police operation targeting the Red Devils in March last year.
Police searched 31 properties and seized motorcycles, rifles, shotguns, pistols and various drugs in the operation.
Police said the Red Devils were a puppet gang of the Hells Angels.
Lawyers for some of the accused yesterday indicated to the court they wanted to get the trial shifted out of Nelson.
Meanwhile, several of those arrested following an earlier police raid on the Red Devils' Natalie St premises in August 2010 face a two-day trial next month.
Thirty-six people were charged with allowing an unlicensed premises to be used for the sale of liquor and being found on unlicensed premises being used for the sale of liquor.
In the 2010 raid police found a bar set up in the gang house. A large amount of alcohol, a cash till, more than $12,500 in cash, two refrigerators, five laptop computers, assorted documents and substances believed to be illicit drugs were seized.