Four charged as criminal syndicate dismantled and cannabis worth nearly $6 million seized

Tuesday, 09 March 2021 03:36:52 PM

Detectives have charged four people, including the alleged director of a criminal syndicate, and seized cannabis worth nearly $6 million following a targeted police operation across Sydney.

In April last year, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad, under Strike Force Hyperion, commenced an investigation into outdoor cannabis cultivation across Sydney.

Last month, strike force detectives seized 2379 cannabis plants with an estimated potential street value of more than $7.1 million, at a semi-rural property near Campbelltown.

Five men – aged 49, 35, 33 and two aged 29 – were charged and remain before the courts.

Following further investigations, Strike Force Hyperion detectives, with assistance from the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS) and Burwood Police Area Command, executed a search warrant at a home unit at Rhodes about 6am today (Tuesday 9 March 2021).

During the search, officers seized mobile phones and an amount of cannabis.

A 28-year-old man was arrested and taken to Burwood Police Station, where he was charged with eight offences including;

  • Cultivate prohibited plant – large commercial quantity – cannabis (x2),
  • use/consume/waste electricity without authority (x3)
  • enhanced indoor cultivate cannabis for commercial purpose (x2),
  • knowingly direct activities of criminal group.

Police will allege in court that the man directed the activities of an organised criminal syndicate involved in the large-scale cultivation and supply of cannabis across the state.

He was refused bail to appear at Burwood Local Court today.

A short time later, investigators, with assistance from PORS and Quakers Hills Police Area Command, executed a search warrant at a semi-rural property at Schofields.

During the search, detectives located and seized 2080 cannabis plants, with an estimated potential street value of more than $5.8 million.

Two men – aged 24 and 29 – and a 39-year-old woman were arrested and taken to Riverstone Police Station.

All three were charged with cultivate prohibited plant (large commercial quantity – cannabis), supply prohibited drug (large commercial quantity), participate criminal group contribute criminal activity and use/consume/waste electricity without authority.

Police will allege the group were involved in the cultivation of cannabis at the Schofields property.

All three were refused bail to appear at Blacktown Local Court tomorrow (Wednesday 10 March 2021).

Investigators are working with the Department of Home Affairs regarding the visa status of the group.

Inquiries under Strike Force Hyperion are continuing.

Anyone with information the cultivation of cannabis is urged to 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.