A man has been charged after police seized cannabis worth nearly $600,000 and dismantled a hydroponic set-up at a home in Sydney’s west.
Earlier this year, detectives from the Drug and Firearms Squad commenced an investigation under Strike Force Polmont into the activities of a criminal syndicate believed to be involved in the cultivation and supply of cannabis across Sydney.
Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives executed a search warrant at a home at Oran Park just before 2pm yesterday (Monday 18 May 2020).
During the search, investigators seized 195 cannabis plants located inside five bedrooms, with an estimated potential street value of $585,000.
Officers also located a large sophisticated hydroponic set-up which was dismantled.
A short time later, a 27-year-old man arrived at the home and was subsequently arrested by strike force investigators.
He was taken to Narellan Police Station and charged with enhanced indoor cultivate cannabis for commercial purpose and use/consume/waste etc electricity without authority.
It will be alleged in court that the man was involved in the cultivation and supply of cannabis across Sydney.
The Cabramatta man was refused bail to appear at Campbelltown Local Court today (Tuesday 19 May 2020).
Drug and Firearms Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent John Watson, said criminal syndicates operating hydro-houses in suburban areas put neighbouring residents at risk.
“Hydroponic houses have the potential to put surrounding houses and people in danger and they can be anywhere in the community,” Det Supt Watson said.
“In this instance, no one was living in the Oran Park home – it was solely being used for the cultivating cannabis.
“We would ask that the public remain vigilant to what is happening in their suburb and report any suspicious behaviour to police.
“Make no mistake – these activities are linked to organised crime and other illicit activities. Those involved simply want to profit no matter the cost,” Det Supt Watson said.
Signs of a hydro house include, but should not be confined to:
- Increased security measures (roller shutters, fences, vicious dogs in the yard)
- Increased use of electricity
- Increased use of water
- Illegal connection to electrical supply
- Condensation on windows
- Continual running of generators and lights
- Disposal of large amounts of garbage
- Large quantities of chemicals and fertilisers around the premises
- Locks or other methods in place to prevent access to the electricity meter box
- Discarded plastic containers and strong odours (fertilisers, liquid and bagged growing cultures).
Investigations by the Drug and Firearms Squad are continuing.
Anyone with information about the manufacture and supply of cannabis is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.