BIG HAUL: Police at Lismore Station unload some of the hydroponic marijuana seized at Koonorigan.
BIG HAUL: Police at Lismore Station unload some of the hydroponic marijuana seized at Koonorigan.

Police raids seize drugs and weapons

By ZOE SATHERLEY

LSD, ecstasy, crystal meth, cocaine, amphetamines and cannabis were among the haul of drugs worth $836,340 seized by police in multiple Northern Rivers raids on Wednesday.

Police also confiscated unlicensed firearms including a double barrelled shotgun, a .22 calibre rifle, a .177 air rifle and a Steyr pistol, with associated ammunition, during the raids.

The raids, in sheds and on properties at Dunoon, Federal, Koonorigan and Kingscliff, and in a car at Lismore, were part of joint Operation Savoy by police from the Richmond and Tweed-Byron commands.

Two brothers aged 18 and 20, one from Nimbin and one from Lismore, and a 48-year-old Dunoon man, have been charged.

They will appear in Lismore Court on charges relating to drug cultivation, possession and supply.

Some of the cannabis plants were grown in elaborate hydroponic setups, while others were grown on secret bush blocks, Snr Const Michael Hogan said.

He said hydroponic cannabis was considered more dangerous because it was more likely to induce psychosis and was related to breast enlargement in men because of oestrogens used as a fertilizer.

Police seized 333 plants ranging from 5cm to 70cms high, 15.2kgs of dried cannabis head and leaf, and cannabis seeds.

Supt Bruce Lyons said the successful culmination of Operation Savoy was a credit to all police involved.

"Operations of this nature are clearly meeting the needs and expectations of the community," he said.

"People in general are extremely supportive of police action in clearing up drug-related crimes.

"We will continue to focus our investigations on those people responsible for the supply of drugs which have a detrimental impact on the welfare of our community."

Insp Owen King, of Byron Bay police, said today is the final day of a week-long cannabis detection and eradication operation in the Northern Rivers region.

A Sydney police helicopter has been undertaking aerial searches throughout the region over this time, he said.



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