NSW Police Cannabis Blitz

By Shannon Watts and Kotnyin B. Thon

Almost $58 million worth of Cannabis plants have been seized from a far North Coast property in Ellangowan.

The raid was conducted on Tuesday by Strike Force Hyperion with assistance from Richmond Police District, Northern Rivers Region Enforcement Squad (RES), and PolAir. 

Investigators located 19 large green houses, 13 of which contained a large number of cannabis plants. 

Police spent two days dismantling the greenhouses. The plants have been seized and destroyed.  

In total more than 16,500 plants were seized from the property, with an estimated street value of $58 million. No arrests have been made, however investigations remain ongoing.  

The raid comes only just over a month after the biggest cannabis bust on NSW record. 

In 2019 detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad, assisted by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), established Strike Force Harthouse to investigate the cultivation and trafficking of cannabis across NSW.

Since the Strike Force began, officers have charged 51 people: 48 men and 3 women, and seized almost 70,000 cannabis plants, valued at more than $217 million.

In January Strike Force officers executed a crime scene warrant to search a rural property in Dandry, NSW. 

During the raid officers seized more than 19,000 cannabis plants, with a estimated street value of $66.8 million. Six people were arrested and taken to Dubbo and Coonabarabran Police Stations. 

All six – aged between 23 and 42 – were charged with the cultivation of a prohibited plant, knowingly take part in cultivate large commercial quantities of cannabis, and participating in criminal group contribute criminal activity. 

They were all refused bail to appear at Coonamble Local Court January 19, 2022.  

Drug and Firearms Squad Commander Detective Superintendent John Watson said the seizure of more than 19,000 cannabis plants is believed to be a national record.  

In total the NSW police force has seized $125 million worth of illegal cannabis in just over one month.

Featured image: Cannabis plants worth almost $58m seized from a property on the state’s Far North Coast. Photo: NSW Police Force

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