$5.4mil worth of cannabis detected
THE Tweed has a major drug problem.
More than 3400 cannabis plants with a combined street value of more than $5.4 million has been detected growing in the Tweed and Byron areas.
Officers from a Sydney drug squad, working with local police, detected the plants during a massive annual air-raid last week.
The raid went for five days and targeted 28 properties in the Tweed Byron Local Area Command from air with the help of a helicopter.
It was not an astounding result for the police, who every year recover cannabis crops with a combined street value of between $3 and $5 million from the area.
Local area commander superintendent Tim Tarlington said the operation had netted several local alleged drug offenders who had been arrested at the targeted sites.
He said one man was found with more than 1500 cannabis plants on his Upper Burringbar property, and told police the crop was for "personal use" for a medical problem.
Supt Tarlington said drug crops had been found in Murwillumbah, Stokers Siding, Upper Burringbar, Bilambil, Kingscliff, Dungay Creek, Tyalgum, Byrrill Creek, Main Arm, Mullumbimby, Coopers Creek and Doon Doon.
The crops had been growing on private land, crown land and in state forest and on properties with multiple owners.
The plants, ranging in sizes from 60cm to 1.5m, were seized by police and burnt.
A mix of men and women were charged with a range of drug-related offences and are believed to have been refused bail.
Supt Tarlington said police were looking at confiscating assets of the charged people if they find that those charged have used ongoing drug money to fund their lifestyle.