FOUR men have been issued court attendance notices for cannabis cultivation in the wake of the State Crime Command’s current cannabis eradication operation in the Tweed-Byron region.
Strike Force Farrelly has just wound up the Tweed-Byron phase of the operation netting 2446 plants over 35 plantations.
The haul has an estimated mature street value of almost $5 million.
Tweed-Byron detectives are continuing investigations into another four seizures and hope to make more arrests.
Police Minister MichaelDaley yesterday congratulated Strike Force Farrelly for seizing more than 18,000 cannabis plants with an estimated value of $50 million in just three months as part ofthe Cannabis Eradication Program.
In a statement Mr Daley highlighted the task force’s Far North Coast haul, complimenting officers for their ‘impressive haul of 1100 plants in a single day’ near Uki.
“Unfortunately, some people think of cannabis as a soft drug. It isn’t,” he said.
“It does cause psychosis, it does destroy families, and it is a gateway drug to heavier use.
“Cannabis plantations are also a cash crop for organised crime, and this impressive haul will put a serious dent in their operations.
“While I was with the NSW Drug Squad’s Plantation Unit in Tweed-Byron this week, I also saw for myself the lengths that criminals are now going to in an unsuccessful effort to try and hide their illegal activities.”
Drug Squad commander, Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham, warned illegal drug growers he had their crops in his sights.
“You won’t know where or when we’ll strike,” he said.
“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.”
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