NSW police charge two after cannabis worth nearly $500,000 seized and three hydro-houses uncovered

Redfern Region Enforcement Squad investigators have charged two men, seized cannabis worth nearly $500,000 and nearly $185,000 cash, after three hydroponic houses were uncovered across Sydney’s south.

Strike Force Grassy was established in 2011 by detectives attached to Redfern Region Enforcement Squad (RES) to investigate the enhanced indoor cultivation of cannabis across the Central Metropolitan Region.

As part of ongoing investigations, Redfern RES investigators, with assistance from the Central Metropolitan Operations Support Groups (OSG), executed a search warrant at a unit at Brighton Le Sands from 6am yesterday (Thursday 1 October 2020).

Crime scene warrants were subsequently executed at two homes at Bexley North and one at Brighton Le Sands, where police located three hydroponic cannabis set-ups.

During the searches, police seized 124 cannabis plants and about 15kg of cannabis head, with a combined estimated potential street value of $491,000.

Officers also seized $184,550 cash and equipment consistent with the manufacture and supply of cannabis.

A 36-year-old man was arrested at the Brighton Le Sands unit and taken to Kogarah Police Station.

He was charged with 11 offences including; three counts of supply prohibited drug, cultivate prohibited plant (commercial quantity), two counts of enhanced indoor cultivate cannabis for commercial purpose, supply cannabis (indictable quantity), knowingly deal with proceeds of crime and three counts of use/consume/waste etc electricity without authority.

He appeared at Sutherland Local Court yesterday, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at the same court on Friday 16 October 2020.

A short time later, a 64-year-old Turella man was arrested at Kogarah Police Station, where he was charged with knowingly take part cultivate large commercial quantity prohibited plant and two counts of take part enhance indoor cultivation plant for commercial.

He was refused bail to appear at Sutherland Local Court today (Friday 2 October 2020).

Investigations by Redfern RES under Strike Force Grassy are continuing.

Signs of a hydro house can include;

• Increased security measures (roller shutters, fences, vicious dogs in the yard),

• Increased use of electricity,

• Increased use of water,

• Illegal connection to electrical supply,

• Condensation on windows,

• Continual running of generators and lights,

• Disposal of large amounts of garbage,

• Large quantities of chemicals and fertilisers around the premises,

• Locks or other methods in place to prevent access to the electricity meter box,

• Discarded plastic containers and strong odours (fertilisers, liquid and bagged growing cultures).

Anyone with information about the cultivation and supply of cannabis is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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