Rural Queensland farm raid sparks $23.1m cannabis bust
More than $20 million of cannabis has been stopped from hitting the streets in the latest bust linked to a nationwide drugs syndicate growing crops on isolated Queensland farms.
Nearly 3000 cannabis plants were discovered on May 15 at a property in Coominya, about 80 kilometres west of Brisbane.
The plants were growing inside 19 greenhouses measuring 70 metres in length.
As well, close to 1600 cannabis seedlings were found in two hydroponic growth rooms, along with more than 32 kilograms of dried cannabis in a house and shipping container.
The street value of the drugs was estimated at $23.1m.
"What you need to remember with the production of cannabis and particularly the hydroponic of cannabis is it's a cyclic process," detective inspector Brad Phelps said.
"So this particular crop we can value at over $20 million on the street. But they can produce three of four of these crops in any given year from the same site. So it's a significant disruption."
No one was found on the property at the time of the raid but a 26-year-old man has since been arrested at a Heathwood home.
He was charged with producing a commercial quantity of cannabis ahead of facing court on June 6.
Police are still searching for others involved.
The bust is connected to an alleged national drug syndicate, facilitating the commercial production and distribution of cannabis across Queensland, Victoria, NSW and the Northern Territory.
Police believe the syndicate is scouting, purchasing and resourcing isolated farms in rural Queensland to grow cannabis on a large scale as part of its nationwide operation.
Det Insp Phelps said Queensland police are working with other jurisdictions to destroy the group, with a total of 12 similarly sized cannabis farms dismantled thus far.
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