Cops net grass worth $1.93 million

Police have seized $1.93 million worth of cannabis from a numer of locations across the Manning-Great Lakes this week. A multi-unit group, Strike Force Hyperion, has targeted cannabis crop sites at Coopernook, Bulga, Elands, Wallis Lake, Wooton, Coolongolook, Old Bar, Taree, Wang Wauk and Tuncurry for the past week. More than 965 plants, many almost near maturity, were located and seized by police during the operation. Police also seized 500 grams of dried cannabis during a car stop and search at Coolongolook. The total estimated potential street value of the plants seized is $1.93 million. All plants seized by police have been now been destroyed.

Two people were charged during the week, including:
• A 36-year-old man issued a court attendance notice for possess prohibited plant at Taree, to face Taree Local Court on December 13, 2011;

• A 53-year-old woman issued a court attendance notice for possess prohibited drug at Coolongolook to face Forster Local Court on January 11, 2012.

The Cannabis Eradication Program has been running since the mid 1980s with the NSW Police Force preventing more than $230 million worth of cannabis reaching NSW streets. As in previous years, the 2011-2012 operation will see police conduct a number of similar raids over the next few months in an ongoing effort to target cannabis cultivation. Strike Force Hyperion was made up of detectives from the Drug Squad’s Cannabis Team, with assistance from the NSW Police Air Wing, Police Dog Unit, Radio Electronics Unit and local area commands from the Manning Great Lakes. Drug Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Nick Bingham, said the Cannabis Eradication Program was all about disrupting the cannabis supply chain in NSW by targeting the source. “Each year, illegal growers try to hide their crops in remote locations where they won’t be found, but we’ve got you in our sights. You won’t know where or when we’ll strike, but we will find you.”

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