$5m dent in drug supply
By EMMA CORNFORD
ABOUT 4pm yesterday, an estimated $5million worth of cannabis went up in smoke.
The plants were incinerated at a Red Lane timber mill at Junction Hill, after the region's Cannabis Eradication Program hauled in 2500 plants from plantations between Nymboida and Bellingen.
Two men have been charged in relation to the drug operation -- a 55-year-old Copmanhurst man who allegedly grew 162 plants and a 38-year-old man from Halfway Creek who was charged in relation to 83 of the plants.
Both men will appear at Grafton Local Court in January.
Chief Inspector Tony Ferguson, who was in charge of the operation, said the project was a joint initiative between local area commands and the State Crime Command.
"This is a pretty standard number of plants," he said.
"This will put a dent in the availability of the drug ... but the idea is also to act as a deterrent to those people who think they can cultivate the drug."
Chief Inspector Ferguson said police acted on information gathered by local sources as well as targeting known offenders.
"The plants are worth around $2000 each, but obviously more if they become mature and get reharvested," he said.