$500K worth of drugs seized in massive police operation
QUEENSLAND police have charged 17 people with 67 drug and weapons offences following a large scale police operation targeting the unlawful production of cannabis in the Wide Bay Burnett and Sunshine Coast.
Between November 12 and 16, detectives from the Crime and Intelligence Command's Drug and Serious Crime Group executed 18 search warrants across the region as part of Operation Romeo Factor.
As part of the operation, police seized approximately $474,600 worth of drugs including 156 cannabis plants and 12.365kg of dried cannabis.
Hydroponic growing systems, valued at $56,000 were located across 13 addresses. All were actively being used in the production of cannabis and were subsequently destroyed.
A sawn-off .22 bolt action rim-fire rifle and crossbow were also seized.
Detective Acting Superintendent Troy Pukallus of the Drug and Serious Crime Group said the drugs seized were destined for the local market, with investigations identifying a surge in hydroponic equipment being sourced and used in the production of dangerous drugs.
"The success of this operation will impact drug availability on the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Burnett region, making the community safer ahead of the holiday period," Detective Acting Superintendent Pukallus said.
"It also sends a message to those involved in the illicit drug market, who may have turned to locally producing cannabis as a result of supply issues with the border closures of COVID-19, know that police will continue taking every opportunity to target and disrupt your criminal behaviour."