Lower Hutt man charged with possessing ‘stolen’ tranquilliser gun worth $11,100

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Michael Patrick Hughes appeared in Hutt Valley District Court in relation to firearms and drug charges.


Michael Patrick Hughes appeared in Hutt Valley District Court in relation to firearms and drug charges.

A Lower Hutt man is accused of possessing drugs and stolen guns, including a tranquilliser gun worth $11,100.

Michael Patrick Hughes was arrested on Monday after police allegedly found 10 guns at a Tirohanga property, along with methamphetamine and GBL, also known as rinse or liquid ecstasy. Police alleged eight of the guns had been recently stolen from an address in Eketahuna.

The 60-year-old is facing at least nine charges of possessing a firearm without a lawful purpose, one charge of receiving seven stolen firearms and a tranquilliser gun from an unknown person, and possession of the class A drug methamphetamine, class B drug GBL, and a pipe used to consume meth.

He appeared at Hutt Valley District Court, via audio visual link from jail, on Thursday.

* Ten firearms, methamphetamine and GBL found at Lower Hutt property after search

His lawyer told Judge Arthur Tompkins during Thursday’s hearing that Hughes was not seeking bail.

He was remanded in custody without plea.

Hughes is due to appear in court again on December 17.

Court documents alleged the guns found in Hughes’ possession included a Browning semi-automatic shotgun, Sako 270 calibre rifle, Mannlicher Steyr 30-06 calibre rifle and Russian single shot gun.

If convicted, Hughes could face up to seven years in prison. The possession of methamphetamine charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

When the guns were discovered at the Tirohanga property, Detective Sergeant Charlie Munro said their prompt recovery came as a “huge relief” to police and to the person who owned them.

Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) is often used recreationally and also has a reputation as a date rape drug.

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