POLICE from Strike Force Hyperion have seized 108 cannabis plants in national park south of Nymboida this morning.
The drugs seized would have a street value of over $400,000, and form part of record haul from the strike force, with over $3 million worth of cannabis seized over the past three days.
As part of the strike force, the NSW Drug Squad, backed by Coffs/Clarence LAC and Police Air Wing, have worked from Bellingen up to Nymboida and Dorrigo as part of their annual cannabis eradication program.
Coffs/Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said the eradication was successful, despite being hampered by two days of bad weather.
"On cannabis, our message is clear: it is the root of all evil," Det Insp Jameson said.
"Some people in the community are trying to lift this evil up as acceptable, but the reality is it has a strong negative effect, it drives crime and leads the juvenile deliquency sector.""We have reports of children as young as 13 who are driven to crime, especially property theft, because of cannabis addiction. "It's not a safe drug, and those who say it is are wrong." The Police Air Wing helicopter was used extensively to detect cannabis crops among the dense bushland of the state forests and national parks that were part of the search. >> RELATED: More than $300,000 of marijuana found at Jackass Creek Det Insp Jameson said the eradication was successful, despite being hampered by two days of bad weather. "There were a couple of days of bad flying conditions, particularly with low-level cloud and significant rain," he said. "But that didn't deter the troops on the ground. Our officers are very dedicated to make sure this insidious drug doesn't hit the streets, and we've done extremely well in locating the large quantities we have this year." No arrests have been made, but Det Insp Jameson said operations into the cultivation and supply of cannabis would continue. "We will continue to chase these offenders, the growers, the suppliers and users of this drug down burrows if we have to," Det Insp Jameson said. "If there's an opportunity to investigate those involved with these crops, we will." Det Insp Jameson said the cannabis plants seized in Clouds Creek State Forest were close to being ready for harvesting, with some plants over three metres tall. "This is a significant amount of cannabis to be taking off the street, and we're very pleased that we will be able to say that we've done a little bit today to make sure the streets of Coffs Harbour and the Clarence Valley and surrounding areas are a little bit safer because the drug has been taken away," he said. The plants will be destroyed today, with the operation to eradicate cannabis in state bushland concluding yesterday afternoon.
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