Cops seize $20m worth of cannabis in northern NSW

DURING the 2015/2016 Cannabis Eradication Program, police have seized cannabis with an estimated potential street value of more than $20 million.

Detectives from State Crime Command's Drug Squad have been conducting raids on outdoor cannabis crops throughout northern parts of the state since late last year.

They are assisted in the annual program by PolAir, local police and other specialist units.

Crops were targeted locally in the Richmond and Tweed Byron Local Area Commands, as well as the Mid North Coast, Manning Great Lakes, and Coffs/Clarence LACs.

Commander of the Drug Squad, Detective Superintendent Tony Cooke, said the Cannabis Eradication program was a key component of the NSW Police Force's efforts to remove illicit drugs from the community and target criminals who profit from peddling those drugs.

"The drugs seized by the CEP team could potentially have been sold for more than $20 million on the street - that's $20 million dollars that won't be boosting the profits of drug dealers and thousands of cannabis plants that won't be sold in the community," Det Supt Cooke said.

"The cultivation of cannabis is a crime and we make no apologies for targeting an illicit drug and those who knowingly break the law by growing or supplying it.

"All illicit drugs cause immeasurable harm in our community and we will continue to use this program and a suite of other strategies to target drug supply.

"I urge any person with information about the supply of prohibited drugs to contact police immediately."

>> CANNABIS CANYON: Coffs Clarence Police and NSW Drug Squad strip forests of cannabis crops

The Cannabis Eradication program began in the 1980s and targets outdoor cannabis crops in the optimal growing season which runs throughout the warmer months of the year.

Cannabis plants with an estimated potential street value of more than $300 million have been seized during the program's lifetime.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to these incidents to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

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