Massive cannabis farm is vandalized, drugs worth $23 million seized and a man arrested
- Police seize $23.1 million worth of cannabis from properties in Queensland
- Bust represents ‘significant disruption to an organized crime scene’
A man has been arrested after police seized more than $23 million worth of cannabis at a property.
Drugs detectives raided a farmhouse in Coominya, Somerset region of south-east Queensland, on May 15.
They found 19 greenhouses 70 meters long with almost 3,000 cannabis plants, more than 1,500 seedlings in hydroponic rooms and almost 33 kg of dried cannabis.
Police found 19 greenhouses 70 meters long containing nearly 3,000 cannabis plants, more than 1,500 seedlings in hydroponic rooms and nearly 33 kg of dried cannabis, worth a total of an estimated $23.1 million
The total haul is estimated to be worth $23.1 million.
No one was in the building at the time of the search.
Three days after the raid, police arrested a 26-year-old man at a Heathwood estate.
He has been charged with producing a commercial quantity of cannabis and is expected to appear before Richlands Magistrates Court on June 6.
Detective Inspector Brad Phelps described the farm as a “commercial cannabis production facility.”
“The thing to remember about cannabis production – hydroponic cannabis in particular – is that it is a cyclical process,” he said.
“This particular crop we can value at over $20 million on the street, but they can produce three or four of these crops in the same location in any given year. It is (the raid) a significant disturbance of an organized crime scene.”
The mass arrest is part of investigations into a national drug syndicate exploring and buying remote farms in rural Queensland to grow cannabis on a large scale to distribute and sell the drug across Australia.
Police have so far raided a dozen farms of similar size.
Detective Inspector Brad Phelps said police raided a dozen farms of similar size in an investigation into a national drug syndicate
“We are working with a number of other jurisdictions to try to completely dismantle and destroy this particular syndicate and prevent them from benefiting from the harm they are doing to the community,” Detective Phelps said.
The police are still looking for a number of other persons and are calling on the public to come forward with information.
“These production processes are extremely extensive,” Detective Phelps said.
“They require a lot of human and physical resources to establish themselves and then continue to operate, so it’s very difficult for them to do it without attracting the attention of the local people who live in these areas.”