Huge haul seized in bust
MARIJUANA with an estimated street value of $ 250,000 has been seized along with amphetamines and firearms in a three-day police operation in Julatten, Mossman and Port Douglas.
A total of 14 offenders have been charged with 39 offences including unlawful drug production, possession of dangerous drugs including cannabis, amphetamine and morphine and unlawful possession of firearms.
The charges and drug seizures were a result of 13 properties being searched - five in Port Douglas, five in Mossman and three in Julat- ten.
Mossman CIB Detective Sergeant Trevor Perham said one property in Julatten had an excess of 150 cannabis plants including 45 mature plants of over three metres and a large number of seedlings in an established nursery.
The bust was part of Operation Cairns Dragon, a joint collaboration by CIB Mossman, Mareeba, uniform police from Port Douglas, Mt Molloy, Mareeba and the Cairns tactical crime squad.
Properties were also raided in the Daintree but revealed nothing.
Detective Perham said a couple of substantial cannabis cultivation systems were seized including hydroponic equipment, airconditioners, fertilisers and pumps.
‘‘It was a successful operation, it’s a culmination of intelligence received by police in the three divisions resulting in the search warrants,’’ he said.
‘‘Some of the properties searched were part of a network but most were not related to each other.
‘‘The plants ranged in height from three metres down to 10cm and the potential street value for the larger plants is $250,000.
‘‘The amphetamine and morphine were reasonably small quantities found in Port Douglas.’’
Detective Perham said there was no relation of these raids to the arrest of the 33-year-old Port Douglas man in Griffith found in possession of drugs, cash and part of a sub-machine gun last month.
‘‘The enforcement action against drugs will continue as there appears to be an increase in the use of meth amphetamines, also known as speed or ice, in the area,’’ he said.
‘‘ This has been accompanied by an increase in property crimes such a break and enters, violent crimes such as assaults and robberies.
‘‘Several premises have been broken into, cars stolen, the bus driver who was assaulted and robbed - all these incidents are linked to drug use.’’