A MASSIVE drug bust in the South Metropolitan Police District yesterday has resulted in the arrest of ten people and the discovery of 1000s of cannabis plants, according to the WA Police.
The searches were part of a joint operation between WA Police, the Australian Border Force and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, targeting the cultivation and distribution of cannabis throughout WA’s south metropolitan district.
During the search approximately 1500 cannabis plants and approximately 30kg of cannabis material was seized, along with an amount of cash.
Detectives from the Organised Crime Squad, Proceeds of Crime Squad and Rockingham Detectives Office executed 24 Misuse of Drugs Act search warrants took place in Rockingham, Warnbro, Waikiki, Safety Bay, Medina, Port Kennedy, Cooloongup, Byford, Wattleup, Shoalwater, Westminster and Baldivis.
Western Power had to be called in to a number of homes to make sure they were safe, after police identified power systems had been tampered with to bypass electricity meters to power hydroponics equipment.
Police believe the homes are linked to the same organised crime syndicate.
Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Rowson from the WA Police Organised Crime Squad said the arrests were a significant outcome for the community.
“The organised crime syndicate we have identified is quite large, with significant resources used to fund the operation,” he said.
“Ten people have been arrested, some of whom are in Australia unlawfully, and there will be ongoing work to identify other members of the syndicate.
“All illicit drugs have an impact on the wider community. The sale of Cannabis contributes to local volume crime offences such as burglaries, stealing offences, and other crimes committed by people to fund their drug purchases.”
A 42-year-old Rockingham man was charged with three counts of cultivating a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply and three counts of fraudulent appropriation of power.
He was refused bail and is due to appear in the Rockingham Magistrates Court today.
A 26-year-old man from New South Wales was charged with cultivating a prohibited drug with intent to sell or supply and fraudulent appropriation of power.
He was refused bail and was due to appear in Rockingham Magistrates Court today.
Four people were released, pending further investigation.
Six people have been referred to Australian Border Force, including the two appearing in court today.
Four been detained as unlawful non-citizens and transferred to Yongah Hill Detention Centre and investigations regarding court appearances are ongoing.