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DRONE VISION: Police raid marijuana crop worth $60m

Police estimate a large-scale marijuana crop, containing more than 11,000 plants and allegedly produced by two young men, is worth tens of millions of dollars.

Officers from the Drug and Serious Crime Group and Southern Region raided three properties in Coominya, Mount Hallen and Churchable yesterday and allegedly found "sophisticated" hydroponic grow houses.

Plants were raised from small seedlings to mature plants of up to one-and-a-half metres in height.

Police said the seizure included product in various stages of drying procedure, which was yet to be distributed.

Two men, aged 24 and 26, were found in the raids at Coominya and were charged with producing dangerous drugs.

Queensland Police have seized 11,795 cannabis plants following a raid on an Esk property. Picture: Queensland Police
Queensland Police have seized 11,795 cannabis plants following a raid on an Esk property. Picture: Queensland Police

Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker of the State Crime Command Drug and Serious Crime Group said the seizure was significant and would have a major impact on the availability of marijuana in the southeast.

"Prior to the execution of yesterday's search warrants investigations throughout Operation Papa Cider had already netted the arrest of seven people on 10 charges and the seizure of approximately 87kg of cannabis," he said.

"The estimated value of cannabis seized throughout this operation to date stands at approximately $60m."

Police launched Operation Papa Cider in July this year, focusing on the production and trafficking of marijuana in the southeast, specifically in the South Brisbane and Brisbane Valley areas.

Both are expected to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on January 10.

Meanwhile, detectives in North Queensland say they have smashed a drug network, arresting 37 people on more than 120 drug-related charges.

Officers seized cannabis, MDMA, LSD, cocaine and cash.

Queensland Police have seized 11,795 cannabis plants following a raid on an Esk property. Picture: Queensland Police
Queensland Police have seized 11,795 cannabis plants following a raid on an Esk property. Picture: Queensland Police

Whitsunday Detective Sergeant Chris Caswell said the high-level arrests included six people being charged with drug trafficking.

A 25-year-old Palm Grove man was charged with one count each of trafficking in dangerous drugs, and possessing dangerous drugs and nine counts of supplying a dangerous drugs and is due to appear in the Proserpine Magistrates Court on January 8.

A 27-year-old Mount Julian man was charged with one count of trafficking in dangerous drugs and ten counts of suppling dangerous drugs and is due to appear in the Proserpine Magistrates Court on January 8.

A 28-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man from Cannonvale were both charged with one count of trafficking in dangerous drugs, three counts each of supplying dangerous drugs and possessing dangerous drugs.

Both are due to appear in Proserpine Magistrates Court on January 29.

Queensland Police have seized 11,795 cannabis plants following a raid on an Esk property. Picture: Queensland Police
Queensland Police have seized 11,795 cannabis plants following a raid on an Esk property. Picture: Queensland Police

Topics:  editors picks esk marijuana bust police raids



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