Three men with possible gang ties arrested in Northland

Three men have been arrested in Kerikeri as part of a reported police crackdown on gangs following the shooting of a gang leader in Auckland in late April.

Josh Masters, the leader of the Killer Beez, was allegedly shot in the back by Tribesman gang member Akustino Tae on April 26. Tae has since been charged with attempted murder.

Since the attack police have been closely monitoring the two gangs to prevent any further violence, according to NZME.

Masters has close ties to Northland where three men, aged 20, 22 and 28, were arrested last week.

All three appeared in the Kaikohe District Court on May 2 and were charged with drug and firearm offences, a police spokesperson told Newshub.

''Because of the rising tensions we have been actively policing these groups, and that led to the arrests. Good work by the guys getting these firearms out of the hands of these groups,'' Det Snr Sgt Rhys Johnston told NZME.

Sociologist Jarrod Gilbert told The AM Show last week that further violence in the wake of the shooting was highly likely.

"Josh Masters is a very charismatic leader. He's got a lot of friends, and they won't be too happy about what's happened to him, and that raises the prospects of the escalation of violence," Gilbert said.

"He's been in prison for a very long time, he hasn't been on the streets for very long. With the amount of people he's got around him, the chances of retribution are high," Gilbert said.

He says "blanket policing" of anyone associated with either side of the dispute will be in place, so that movements and actions by gang members will be restricted.

"That tends to simmer tensions down while cooler heads can prevail," Gilbert said.

He adds that, while there is the possibility violence could escalate, the public doesn't need to be too concerned as the dispute is likely internal.


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