$4m cannabis haul up in smoke
IT was enough to bring a tear to the eye of any drug dealer and the smoke was hard to cop, too.
Cannabis worth an estimated $4 million was incinerated at the Thora mill today after a spectacular week of drug raids across the Coffs Coast.
More than 2200 cannabis plants, some as tall as three metres, were consigned to oblivion as the conveyor belt inched to the furnace mouth.
“Obviously this amount of plants is a very large seizure and it will have a significant impact on cannabis supply,” said Coffs/Clarence crime manager, Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay.
“This amount of drugs on the streets could get into the hands of criminals who finance other criminal activity.
“Research has shown the health problems cannabis causes in the local community along with mental health issues, so it is extremely pleasing to get these drugs out of circulation.”
Mr Lindsay said a number of men were being questioned by police following the discovery of crops in the Emerald Beach, Corindi, Bellingen, Dorrigo, Nymboida and Iluka areas.
He confirmed some of those plantations were linked and that further raids yesterday afternoon had uncovered more cannabis.
Strike Force Unwin comprised local police as well as the State Crime Command’s Drug Squad and the police air wing in the ongoing blitz.
Officers had to negotiate harsh terrain in remote areas, rain and hot and humid weather during their operation.
“Police have done a sterling job under these conditions,” Mr Lindsay said.
“It’s a very good example of police acting on information from the public about cannabis cultivation within the Coffs/Clarence local area command.
“We would like to hear from anyone who sees anything to do with cultivation. No matter how insignificant people may think the information is, it may be the piece of the puzzle that we are seeking and we would encourage people to give us a call.”
An agronomist was at Thora today to officially verify the plants were cannabis and they were catalogued before their destruction under high temperatures.
Contact Coffs Harbour police on 6652 0299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to help with the investigation.