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Police have charged 36 people with drug offences and seized hundreds of cannabis plants and a large quantity of hydroponic equipment as part of an ongoing operation targeting the production, distribution and trafficking of cannabis on the Sunshine Coast hinterland and South Burnett regions.

Police executed 35 search warrants across the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Fraser Coast and South Burnett over a three-day period commencing March 10 as part of joint operation Oaky involving 25 officers from the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Burnett tactical crime squads and detectives from the State Crime Command’s Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural).

During the search, police seized 307 cannabis plants, including some up to 2.5 metres tall, 8.6 kilograms of cannabis and 12 hydroponic systems.

Investigators also seized four firearms, two crossbows, a large quantity of ammunition along with a quantity of cocaine and unprescribed regulated drugs.

The total estimated street value of the drugs seized is $1.85 million.

Senior Sergeant Wade Lee, officer in charge of the Wide Bay Tactical Crime Squad said police will continue targeting drug offences in the region.

“This intelligence-based action by Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast police with the assistance of specialist officers from the State Crime Command has had a significant impact on the local drug market.

“With the assistance of the community, we will continue to proactively and collaboratively target and disrupt the production and distribution of drugs in the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay-Burnett,” Senior Sergeant Lee said.

The arrests included:

  •  A 45-year-old Mooloolah Valley man on two weapons charges due to appear in the Caloundra Magistrates Court on April 1
  •  A 41-year-old Peachester man on four drug offence charges due to appear at Maroochydore Magistrates Court on April 6
  • A 38 year-old Diamond Valley man on three drug offence charges due to appear at Maroochydore Magistrates Court on March 30
  • A 30 year-old Goomboorian man five drug offence charges due to appear at Gympie Magistrates Court on March 30.

Inquiries are ongoing with further arrests expected.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

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