THE POLAIR helicopter has been busy hovering over the Granite Belt region, with a joint operation between Stanthorpe, Warwick and Brisbane police leading to a drug bust worth $250,000.
Four arrests have been made so far with police seizing two pistols, one with a silencer in the Sugarloaf area, and around 36 marijuana plants from a property on Ellwood Road, The Summit on Monday.
The two-day sting, known as Operation Mike Colbalt, was carried out with assistance from the Firearms and Cannabis team from Brisbane and the Stock and Rural Crime Investigation squad.
Stanthorpe Police officer-in-charge Mark Ireland said the busts were carried out after a long series of investigations.
"We've been using POLAIR to identify targets from the air and then sending in people on the ground to detain any offenders," Senior Sergeant Ireland said.
"Around 36 cannabis plants were found on a property at Ellwood Rd, The Summit, with a conservative street value of $250,000.
"Yesterday was a very good result and we hope to get further support from POLAIR in future operations."
POLAIR's Senior Sergeant Mark Doust said the chopper was critical in the detection and eradication of dangerous drugs.
"Essentially what we're able to do is cover a very large area in a small amount of time," he said.
"What would take officers days takes us only a matter of hours, making it far easier for officers on the ground."
Mr Doust said operations of this nature were of serious concern to the community and POLAIR was able to provide officers with necessary protection.
"Once the drugs have been detected, we provide a safety overlay for officers on the ground while they make their arrests," he said.
"Production and distribution of dangerous drugs is a serious issue for any community and the Granite Belt isn't any different to that.
"The local officers have been very proactive in the fight against dangerous drugs in the community."
A full list of charges will be available tomorrow.
Our readers were impressed with the efficiency of this operation - here's what some had to say on Facebook...
Michelle Wright: Well done to the officers who were involved in this haul. We need to get this stuff off the streets, as they say... Ït's ONLY marijuana!!" But when Marijuana is no longer enough for them, it leads to all the other illicit drugs. Congratulations on getting the haul before it hit the streets!!
Shezz McDonnell: Nice, gets it off the streets and away for our kids. Great work QPS. Thank you!
Marleen Grobbelaar Rossouw: Well done!!!!!!!
Josh Coleman: Because clearly cannabis is a problem not this ice epidemic going on.
Kaye Franklin: Well done.