Hydro homes had plants worth $5.8m

POLICE allegedly uncovered nine elaborate hydroponic set-ups – including one at a home in Granville – as part of an investigation into large-scale cannabis cultivation.

In May 2019, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad established Strike Force Garford to investigate the hydroponic cultivation of cannabis in Sydney.
Police said their inquiries uncovered a network operating multiple hydro houses in rental properties in residential areas across Sydney’s south west and north west.
Following extensive inquiries, they executed 13 search warrants across Sydney and the Central Coast last Tuesday, allegedly located elaborate hydroponic set-ups in homes at Bankstown, Granville, Dundas Valley, Eastwood, West Ryde, Epping, Northmead and Gorokan, which were examined by specialist forensic officers.
In total, investigators allegedly seized about 1,500 cannabis plants, with an estimated potential street value of more than $5.8 million.
After dismantling the set-ups, investigators also allegedly seized hydroponic, electrical and lighting equipment, as well as chemicals.
A 27-year-old woman was charged with cultivate prohibited plan (commercial quantity-cannabis x2), use/consume/waste electricity without authority (x2), enhanced indoor cultivate cannabis for commercial purpose, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity and a 44-year-old man was charged with cultivate prohibited plan (commercial quantity-cannabis), use/consume/waste electricity without authority, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.
Police will allege in court that the man and woman were both responsible for organising the establishment and maintenance of the hydro houses.
A 28-year-old man was charged with knowingly take part-cultivate large commercial quantity-cannabis, and use/consume/waste electricity without authority.