Police have seized cannabis valued around $5m during a major drug squad operation on the State’s Far North Coast.
Strike Force Farrelly comprised detectives from the State Crime Command Drug Squad, the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command, the NSW Police Air Wing, the Dog Squad and the Radio Electronics Unit.
The Cannabis Eradication Program (CEP) targeted the areas of Burringbar, Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby, Uki and surrounding national parks over five days last week.
A total of 2446 plants, ranging from one to five metres in height, were located.
The haul has an estimated potential street value of $4.8m.
Police issued four men with Court Attendance Notices in relation to alleged drug cultivation, while Tweed/Byron LAC officers are investigating another four seizures following the operation.
On one property, police seized 88 cannabis plants contained in an indoor hydroponic set-up.
All the plants were recorded into evidence and destroyed.
The results of Strike Force Farrelly take the number of plants seized by the Drug Squad in the past three months to almost 20,000.
The estimated potential street value of those seizures is $57m.
Drug Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham, warned illegal drug growers, “You won’t know where or when we’ll strike, but we’ve got your crops in our sights.
“We have been conducting Cannabis Eradication Programs since the mid-1980s and we have got it down to a fine art.
“Whether it’s a semi-rural property or a steep mountainside in a remote part of the State, there’s a high chance we’ll locate these illegal crops and destroy them.
“My detectives are highly trained and can winch down from a chopper into treacherous terrain with ease to remove cannabis plantations.
“They’re backed up by the Police Air Wing, whose officers can easily spot a cannabis crop from the sky.
“NSW Police also raided a so-called ‘hydro house’ last week at Quakers Hill in Sydney, so if you think you’re safe, growing illegal drugs indoors, then you’d better think again.”