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Four charged after $40 million cannabis seizure near Casino

Saturday, 05 November 2022 10:15:29 AM

Four people will face court today, charged after police uncovered more than $40 million worth of cannabis inside industrial grow houses on a rural property in the state’s north.

Earlier this year, officers attached to Richmond Police District established Strike Force Birnam to investigate the cultivation and supply of cannabis across the state’s north coast.

Their inquiries uncovered a remote property near Casino which was being used for the large-scale cultivation of cannabis.

Following extensive inquiries, strike force detectives executed a crime scene warrant at a property in Ellangowan – about 20km southeast of Casino – from 6am yesterday (Friday 4 November 2022).

They were assisted by Tactical Operations Regional Support (TORS), Dog Unit, Police Rescue, and other specialist resources throughout the operation.

Investigators subsequently located and seized 8,388 cannabis plants, with an estimated potential street value of $40 million.

Six men – aged between 33 and 52 – were arrested during the operation and taken Casino Police Station.

Two of the men have since been released pending further inquiries.

A 33-year-old man has been charged with cultivate prohibited plant more than large commercial quantity and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

A 43-year-old man has been charged with cultivate prohibited plant more than large commercial quantity, participate criminal group contribute criminal activity, and recklessly deal with proceeds of crime.

A 49-year-old man has been charged with knowingly take part-cultivate more than large commercial quantity prohibited plant, and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

A 52-year-old man has been charged with cultivate prohibited plant more than large commercial quantity and participate criminal group contribute criminal activity.

All four men were refused bail to appear at Lismore Bail Court today (Saturday 5 November 2022).

Investigations under Strike Force Birnam are ongoing.

Anyone with information about the illicit cultivation of cannabis should contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.