Charges laid after hydro house located - Murrumbidgee

Friday, 30 April 2021 11:44:40 PM

Officers from the Murrumbidgee Police District Proactive Crime Team have charged a man after uncovering a hydroponic cannabis set-up in the Riverina area.

About 8.45am today (Friday 30 April 2021), officers from Strike Force Kincora, a team of investigators from the Murrumbidgee Police District targeting hydroponic cannabis cultivation with links to local organised crime networks, executed a search warrant on a property on Old Willbriggie Road at Hanwood.

During the search of a bedroom, police located a sophisticated hydroponic cannabis set-up and seized 16 small cannabis plants.

A further search of the premises revealed an underground bunker with a trap door concealed under the living room carpet. Ten mature cannabis plants, all being grown under heat lamps, were seized by police.

Also found during the search was a quantity of cannabis leaf, methylamphetamine and MDMA and a trench knife, which is classified as a prohibited weapon.

Officers also seized equipment consistent with the cultivation and supply of cannabis.

A 53-year-old man was arrested at the scene and taken to Griffith Police Station.

He was charged with five offences including cultivate prohibited plant, alter or add to electricity installation for metering, possess prohibited weapon without permit and two counts of possess prohibited drug.

He was refused bail to appear at Griffith Local Court tomorrow (Saturday 1 May 2021).

Signs of a hydro house can include;
• Increased security measures (roller shutters, fences, vicious dogs in the yard),
• Increased use of electricity,
• Increased use of water,
• Illegal connection to electrical supply,
• Condensation on windows,
• Continual running of generators and lights,
• Disposal of large amounts of garbage,
• Large quantities of chemicals and fertilisers around the premises,
• Locks or other methods in place to prevent access to the electricity meter box,
• Discarded plastic containers and strong odours (fertilisers, liquid and bagged growing cultures).

Anyone with information about the cultivation and supply 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.