|Photo: Bay of Plenty Times|
|Last month, police raided Switched On Gardener branches throughout New Zealand. Those must be some really dangerous gardens!|
Last month, police raided Switched On Gardener branches throughout New Zealand, along with other gardening supply stores, after what they claimed was a two-year undercover investigation code named Operation Lime, reports Jared Savage at NZ Herald.
Under the new bail conditions, customers at the gardening supply stores will no longer have to hand over identification.
Directors at staff at the 16 stores were charged. The shops were allowed to continue operating as long as they followed strict bail conditions requested by police.
The Orwellian court order initially required every customer in the gardening shops to hand over their identification and give their phone number, address and date of birth. You know… Gotta watch those dangerous gardeners!
One judge, Peter Rollo of the Tauranga District Court, refused to impose the bail conditions, describing the police request as “excessive” and “an unnecessary intrusion into the personal affairs of the public.”
In Whangarei, Justice of the Peace Ryan Bruce also refused to impose the bail condition, despite police prosecutor Sergeant Graham Ford submitting that the Bail Act gives courts powers to impose conditions “to ensure defendants did not reoffend on bail.”
Judge David Harvey of the Auckland District Court has now removed that bail condition for Swiched On Gardener franchise owner Mike Quinlan. The decision applies to all those charged as part of Operation Lime.
Quinlan previously indicated he would appeal against the bail conditions because, he said, a “little old grandma” coming in “for a bag of potting mix” did not deserve to be interrogated.
While the new bail conditions for Quinlan now mean customers will no longer be required to show ID, Crown Prosecutor Ross Burns on Monday confirmed that Judge Harvey’s decision has been appealed to the High Court.
Last month, police claimed Operation Lime would “break the cornerstone of the illicit cannabis cultivation industry.”
Undercover cops wasted untold tax money allegedly buying equipment and conducting the ridiculous gardening “investigation.” They claimed they were given advice on how to grow cannabis. Some officers even claimed to have bought cannabis and other drugs over the counter.