Police charge two after cannabis plants worth $3 million seized near Coffs Harbour

Two men will appear in court after police seized more than $3 million worth of cannabis plants at a rural property on the state’s north coast.

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad established Strike Force Hyperion to investigate the cultivation of cannabis across NSW.

Their inquiries uncovered a property near Coffs Harbour using a large industrial grow house to cultivate cannabis.

Following extensive inquiries, Strike Force Hyperion investigators, with assistance from Coffs/Clarence Police District, the Rural Crime Prevention Team, and Coffs Harbour Region Enforcement Squad, arrested two men – aged 26 and 31 – at a rural property at Korora, about 10am yesterday (Wednesday 20 November 2019).

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 >= commercial quantity and cultivate prohibited plant >= large commercial quantity.

The 31-year-old man was also charged with an outstanding warrant for cultivate prohibited plant (commercial quantity), which relate to hydroponic set-ups located at a Burwood home in March 2018 and a Toongabbie home in November 2018.

They were both refused bail to appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court today (Thursday 21 November 2019).

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.”

Anyone with information in relation to the cultivation and supply of cannabis is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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