POLICE have set fire to a multi-million dollar mound of marijuana in southeast Queensland after seizing almost 12,000 cannabis plants in a series of raids near Esk, northwest of Brisbane.
Drug squad officers allegedly uncovered a number of “sophisticated hydroponic grow houses” and seized a staggering 11,795 cannabis plants from three properties at Coominya, Mount Hallen and Churchable on Wednesday.
The plants ranged in size from small seedlings through to mature 1.5m-tall bushes, police said.
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A large amount of cannabis was also allegedly found drying out and being prepared for distribution.
Two men, aged 24 and 26, were arrested at the Coominya property and charged with producing dangerous drugs.
Both are expected to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on January 10.
News helicopter footage showed police burning an enormous pile of cannabis plants on Thursday.
Drug squad Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said the seizure would have a major impact on the drug market in Brisbane and southeast Queensland, including on the Gold Coast.
— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) December 7, 2017
“Prior to the execution of yesterday’s search warrants investigations throughout Operation Papa Cider had already netted the arrest of seven people on 10 charges and the seizure of approximately 87kg of cannabis,” Detective Superintendent Wacker said.
“The estimated value of cannabis seized throughout this operation to date stands at approximately $60m.”
Police said investigations into the significant seizure are continuing and more arrests could be made.
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