Cash, cannabis and secret grow room found

As part of ongoing investigations into the activities of a group involved in the trafficking and cultivation cannabis, police searched properties at Greenwith and Port Wakefield yesterday, Sunday 24 January.

Members attached to the Serious and Organised Crime Branch located 65 immature cannabis plants growing in pots in what appeared to be a ‘nursery’ style set up at Greenwith.

Police also located a number of racks that appeared to have been used to dry harvested cannabis, although no harvested cannabis was located during the search.

The cannabis plants and associated equipment were located in a room under the main house. Access to this room was via a secreted doorway hidden by a bookcase that could only be opened via electronic means.

In addition police located approximately $135,000 cash hidden with in the premises. Electricity had also been diverted at the property.

As a result of the search at the Port Wakefield property, police located 99 cannabis plants of varying levels of maturity being grown in a sophisticated hydroponic set up across five separate grow rooms. Electricity had also been diverted at the property.

Police arrested a 38-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, both from Greenwith, and charged them with cultivating a large commercial quantity of cannabis, cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis, possession of prescribed equipment, diverting electricity and unlawful possession. They were bailed to appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on 5 March.

Police believe that seizures arising from this investigation will have an impact on the local cannabis market.

Detective Chief Inspector Darren Fielke said, “Serious and Organised Crime Branch will continue to focus efforts on those people who traffick in and cultivate cannabis for financial gain and to facilitate other criminal offending.”

“The level of sophistication with respect to the secret underground room at the Greenwith property and the manner in which the grow rooms were set up at the Port Wakefield property highlights the extent to which individuals and groups will go to in an effort to avoid detection and ensure their criminal enterprises prosper.

“Those members of the community who engage in this criminal activity do so at their own risk and need to be aware that police are continually conducting investigations and operations to target this activity and it is often only a matter of time before they are caught.”

Police encourage anyone who has information about individuals or groups involved in drug related activity to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at www.crimestopperssa.com.au

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