As part of ongoing operations to burn more cannabis than stoners in lockdown, NSW police have uncovered nearly $10 million worth of cannabis in Sydney’s South-West.
While executing search warrants on Tuesday and Wednesday, police seized 2,993 live cannabis plants. The plants hold an estimated total street value of $9.85 million – a small find compared to the $100.5 million in cannabis seized in the first half of 2020.
This week’s operation was carried out over two days, with officers from Wetherill Park Region Enforcement Squad and Sydney Police. Operation Voice had the following significant findings:
- A large hydroponics setup and 632 cannabis crops, in a Punchbowl home
- Hydroponics equipment, 66 cannabis crops and 1.3 kgs of cannabis in a Cabramatta West home
- An unsecured firearm, 91 cannabis crops and hydroponics equipment in a Mt Pritchard home
- Hydroponics equipment and 112 cannabis crops in a Burwood home, and
- A hydroponics setup, 24 cannabis crops, 56 grams of cannabis head and $5560 in cash in a Villawood home
According to the average weed prices in Australia, the dried cannabis seized held a street value of around $25,000 before being burned by police.
As a result of the raids, four people were arrested, including:
- A 57-year-old Cebramatt West man, on charges of enhanced indoor cultivation, drug possession (commercial quantity), wasting electricity and exposing two children to cannabis.
- A 38-year-old Mt Pritchard man, on charges of enhanced indoor cultivation (commercial quantity), improper storage of a firearm, wasting electricity and exposing five children to cannabis.
- A 48-year-old Burwood man on charges of cultivating cannabis.
- A 54-year-old Villawood man on charges of enhanced indoor cultivation, possessing a prohibited drug, recklessly dealing with the proceeds of crime and wasting electricity.
All four men were refused bail at Liverpool, Burwood and Fairfield local courts, respectively.
The amateur hydroponics homes were also being powered by bootlegged electricity, according to Detective Superintendent Craig Middleton.
Hydro houses rely on increased electricity use, which is often stolen from the grid through rigging substandard and illegal electrical bypass systems, which have in some cases lead to fire or electrocution.
For more coverage on the latest cannabis offences, click here.