Guilty plea over $18m drug crop
ONE of two men charged with growing one of the largest cannabis plantations ever seized on the Mid North Coast yesterday pleaded guilty in court.
Adam Beveridge, 39, of Korora, has admitted to growing part of a massive drug crop near Dorrigo valued by police at $18 million.
Five tonnes of cannabis were uncovered in January growing in rugged terrain in the Chaelundi National Park.
A total of 9000 plants were discovered and destroyed by officers following a police inspection and raid at Nernani.
Beveridge was charged over the record haul along with another man, who is also before the courts.
Appearing before the Coffs Harbour Local Court yesterday via audio-visual link from Long Bay Correctional Complex, Beveridge admitted his guilt on a charge of cultivate a commercial quantity of a prohibited plant.
Magistrate Darryl Pearce committed him to the Coffs Harbour District Court for sentencing on June 7.
Police will allege that Beveridge was responsible for raising 3373 cannabis plants between September 9 and January 13. At the time of the seizure, police claimed the drug bust would have had a major impact on the supply of cannabis in the area.
Officers from the State Crime Command’s Drug Squad staked out the crop under a strike force code named Morison, with the assistance of Coffs/Clarence and New England police.
Their investigations led them to two leased properties in the national park where they found cannabis crops being grown along with a sophisticated watering system and other equipment.
Two men were arrested in the process of watering the cannabis plants while another man was found nearby and was later charged over an outstanding warrant.