Two charged after $3-million drug crop found in 'greenhouse'
TWO men will today appear in court after police seized more than $3 million worth of cannabis plants at a Korora property.
The plantation of more than 1,000 plants was uncovered by detectives from the State Crime Command's Drug and Firearms Squad, which established Strike Force Hyperion to investigate the cultivation of cannabis across NSW.
Their inquiries led them to the property north of Coffs Harbour where a large industrial 'hot house' or igloo was being used to cultivate cannabis.
Two men, aged 26 and 31, were arrested at the property by Strike Force Hyperion investigators, with assistance from Coffs/Clarence Police District, the Rural Crime Prevention Team, and Coffs Harbour Region Enforcement Squad on Wednesday at 10am.
Shortly after, a crime scene warrant was executed at the property where investigators seized about 1030 cannabis plants, with an estimated potential street value of more than $3 million, and about 50kg of cannabis head, with an estimated potential street value of $330,000.
After dismantling the large set-up, investigators also seized hydroponic, electrical, and lighting equipment, as well as chemicals.
The two men were taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station and charged with supply prohibited drug in a commercial quantity and cultivate prohibited plant in a large commercial quantity.
The 31-year-old man was also charged with an outstanding warrant for cultivate prohibited plant in a commercial quantity, which relate to hydroponic set-ups located at a Burwood home in March last year and a Toongabbie home in November last year.
They were both refused bail to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court today.
Drug and Firearms Squad Commander, Detective Acting Superintendent Michael Cook, said criminals using regional NSW to grow crops will not go unnoticed.
"We found a sophisticated industrial greenhouse set-up at this remote property which was being used to make a profit from a large commercial cannabis crop," Det A/Supt Cook said.
"We know from experience that criminal syndicates will often re-invest profits made from the cultivation and supply of cannabis into other illicit enterprises."