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$1m cannabis seized in raid

Richmond Local Area Command Detective Sergeant Paul Fredericks carries drugs and a rifle seized during a raid on a Taylor Rd property in Goonellabah.
Richmond Local Area Command Detective Sergeant Paul Fredericks carries drugs and a rifle seized during a raid on a Taylor Rd property in Goonellabah. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

FROM the outside it appeared to be your run-of-the-mill semi-rural factory shed.

But inside police say they found a very extensive hydroponic set-up and more than $1 million worth of cannabis.

Richmond Local Area Command (LAC) police raided a property on Taylor Rd in Goonellabah and seized cannabis, hydroponic lighting equipment and an air rifle.

The sophisticated set-up was using enough electricity to power 127 homes, Richmond LAC crime manager Detective Acting Inspector Matt Kehoe said.

"We are talking about a commercial enterprise here and the punishments are quite harsh," he said.

"It's a significant raid for the Far North Coast and the Northern Rivers.

"It's a significant amount of cannabis as much of it was ready to be harvested and sold. It also showed that there was a continued series of growing seasons.

"It was a set up that would continue for some time.

"The plants were in various stages of growing and separated in various growing rooms with a sophisticated lighting and growing system in each room."

Police had to use a hire truck to haul the huge amount of cannabis back to Lismore Police Station.

Investigations were continuing to establish whether the electricity source was illegal, Det A/Insp Kehoe said.

An amount of dry cannabis and 330 "well-established" plants were among the drugs seized.

"The estimated value of the cannabis we have is about $1.1 million," Det A/Insp Kehoe said.

"We are looking at the charge of cultivate a large commercial quantity of enhanced cannabis which carries a maximum (jail term) of 25 years."

Det A/Insp Kehoe said a 37-year-old man and a 40-year-old man, both from Goonellabah, were assisting police with inquiries.

One of the men was at the property at the time of the raid.

Topics:  cannabis drugs hydroponics money police



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