Huge haul seized in bust

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - An­gelique Pat­ter­son

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.’’

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