$500,000 drugs bust near Byron Bay
By SAMANTHA HEALY
ALMOST 200 mature cannabis plants with a street value of more than $500,000 were seized yesterday during a raid by Tweed/Byron police on properties near Ewingsdale.
A 42-year-old Possum Creek man was arrested after a joint investigation by the Tweed/Byron LAC Target Action Group (TAG) and police intelligence led them to two properties, one in Possum Creek and the other in Ewingsdale.
The raid, which occurred early yesterday morning, uncovered 186 mature cannabis plants, a street quantity of ecstasy and methylamphetamines, $10,700 cash and a large quantity of cannabis cultivation equipment.
Detective Frank Natoli, of TAG, said police were confident that the illicit drugs would have been sold, ending up on the streets, with the cannabis plants very close to cultivation.
"It was a good result and very good timing," Det Natoli said.
"The cannabis plants were high quality.
"This was a highly organised criminal enterprise."
The properties raided were on Friday Hut Road at Possum Creek, near Bangalow, and Valley Circuit at Ewingsdale, near Byron Bay.
The Possum Creek property was hidden back from the road with plants in various stages of growth found in a double garage and a separate room.
The Ewingsdale property was in a semi-rural area with plants growing in a shed separated into two rooms.
The Possum Creek man was refused bail and was expected to face Lismore Local Court late yesterday or today.
He was charged with the cultivation of a commercial quantity of cannabis, the supply of ecstasy and MDMA, the possession of methylamphetamines and the possession of the proceeds of crime.