Redfern Region Enforcement Squad investigators have charged 10 men, seized cannabis worth an estimated $1 million and nearly $40,000 cash, after nine hydroponic houses were uncovered across Sydney’s east.
Strike Force Grassy was established in 2011 by detectives attached to Redfern Region Enforcement Squad (RES) to investigate the enhanced indoor cultivation of cannabis across the Central Metropolitan Region.
As part of ongoing investigations, Redfern RES investigators, with assistance from Surry Hills RES, Wetherill Park RES and South Sydney, Eastern Beaches and Inner West Police Area Commands Proactive Crime Units, executed nine crime scene warrants from 6am yesterday (Wednesday 18 February 2021).
During the search of residential houses at Randwick, Rosebery, Chifley, Kingsford, Maroubra, West Hoxton, Kensington and Matraville, police allegedly found sophisticated hydroponic cannabis set-ups.
In total, police seized 405 cannabis plants, about 3kg of cannabis, and $37,550 cash.
The drugs have an estimated potential street value of more than $1 million.
During the operation, police arrested 10 men, including two during a vehicle stop near Broken Hill. They were all taken to local police stations.
A 59-year-old Randwick man was charged with six counts of cultivate prohibited plant, two counts of owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises, and participate in criminal group contribute criminal activity.
A 49-year-old Chifley man was charged with two counts of cultivate prohibited plant, two counts of owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises, and participate in criminal group contribute criminal activity.
They were both refused bail and will appear in Broken Hill Local Court today (Thursday 18 February 2021).
A 50-year-old Matraville man was charged with cultivate prohibited plant and owner/occupier knowingly allow use as drug premises.
A 39-year-old Rosebery man was charged with three counts of cultivate prohibited plant, and participate in criminal group contribute criminal activity.
A 38-year-old Matraville man was charged with three counts of cultivate prohibited plant.
A 31-year-old Eastgardens man was charged with entering drug premises
These men were refused bail and will appear in Waverley Local Court today.
A 21-year-old and an 18-year-old man – both from Maroubra – and a 30-year-old Kingsford man, have each been charged with cultivate prohibited plant. They were granted conditional bail to appear in Waverley Local Court on Wednesday 17 March 2021.
A 78-year-old West Hoxton man was charged with take part cultivate prohibited drug, use/consume/waste electricity without authority, deal with proceeds of crime. He was granted conditional bail to appear in Liverpool Local Court on Thursday 1 April 2021.
Investigations by Redfern RES under Strike Force Grassy are continuing.
Signs of a hydro house can include;
• Increased security measures (roller shutters, fences, vicious dogs in the yard),
• Increased use of electricity,
• Increased use of water,
• Illegal connection to electrical supply,
• Condensation on windows,
• Continual running of generators and lights,
• Disposal of large amounts of garbage,
• Large quantities of chemicals and fertilisers around the premises,
• Locks or other methods in place to prevent access to the electricity meter box,
• Discarded plastic containers and strong odours (fertilisers, liquid and bagged growing cultures).