Five charged over $6.2m plant seizure

Police carried out 19 search warrants allegedly seizing more than 2,200 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of more than $6.2 million.

Story appeared in: Torch | July 17th, 2018

POLICE have dismantled a criminal group after charging five people and allegedly seizing more than 2,200 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of more than $6.2 million.
Four men and one woman were arrested after 19 search warrants were executed at Bankstown, Yagoona, Condell Park, Greenacre, Riverwood, Penshurst, Bexley, Campsie and Strathfield, last Wednesday.
Strike Force Grassy was established in 2011 by detectives attached to Redfern Region Enforcement Squad (RES) to investigate the indoor cultivation of cannabis across the Central Metropolitan Region.
Police will allege in court more than 2,200 cannabis plants were seized and cannabis leaf, along with fraudulent documentation as the properties were leased using false paperwork.
All items will undergo forensic examination.
At a property in Bankstown, a 32-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman were arrested. The woman was charged with cultivating a prohibited plant-large commercial quantity and participating in a criminal group and the man was charged with more than 30 charges including directing a criminal group, knowingly taking part - cultivating, taking part, supplying a prohibited drug, dishonestly obtain by deception, and taking part in enhanced indoor, cultivate cannabis.
A 27-year-old man arrested at a property in Yagoona was charged with 20 offences including taking part, cultivate prohibited plant, knowingly take part - cultivate, enhance indoor, cultivate cannabis for commercial purposes and dishonestly obtain financial advantage.
Police also arrested a 21-year-old man at a property in Strathfield and charged with two counts of cultivation and participating in a criminal group and a 33-year-old man at Hurstville who was charged with goods in custody and participating in a criminal group.
Commander of Redfern Region Enforcement Squad, Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bel,l said criminal syndicates operating hydronic houses would be dismantled.
"Make no mistake - this is organised crime. Those involved simply want to make a profit no matter the cost," he said.
"This group used a diverse range of suburbs to try and hide their activities."

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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Mark Kirkland | Story ID: 138760 | Viewcount: 1480