Despite facing months of public backlash, NSW Police are back to their favourite passtime: poaching potheads and bragging about it on social media.
NSW police took to Facebook yesterday morning, announcing that they have successfully carried out a number of large-scale cannabis operations. The operations are part of Strike Force Anketell, which has been the focus of the Coffs Harbour Region Enforcement Squad since April this year.
Strike Force Anketell carried out a raid in Coffs Harbour, with assistance from the Tactical Operations Unit and the Drug and Firearms Squad’s Cannabis Team and Chemical Operations Unit (try saying that five times fast). The trio of bandits raided a Thora property at 6am Wednesday, arresting two men aged 41 and 36 and a 21-year-old woman.
Police also seized 3300 mature cannabis plants across three plantations, estimating their street value at $6.5 million. Take this with a grain of salt, as NSW police have previously greatly overestimated the value of their hauls. Police also seized an unnamed amount of cannabis leaf, meth and MDMA, which they’ve dubiously valued at $165,000.
A second search warrant was carried out a Missibotti property, with assistance from the Public Order and Riot Squad, Northern Region Operation Support Group and the Financial Crimes Squad’s Motor Unit. Despite the high police turnout, no arrests were made.
Instead, police seized a single litre of GBL and an unnamed quantity of cannabis and meth. Police also uncovered 180 vehicles, only 10 of which were actually stolen.
The 21-year old woman was released without charges, while the men appeared in Coffs Harbour Local Court on Thursday.
They face a range of charges, including several firm charges, the manufacturing of prohibited drugs in a large commercial quantity and the cultivation of prohibited drugs in a large commercial quantity.
If found guilty on these charges, they face lengthy prison sentences.
NSW police promised more arrests will be made by Strike Force Anketell, who are focussing on the Nambucca Valley. As usual, Facebook commenters were ruthless, with one commenter pointing out:
“You need to stop pretending that cannabis is a dangerous drug. This pretence creates all the evils of prohibition.”
Other commenters referenced the budding hemp clothing industry, which you can read about here.