Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

“THERE will be an on­go­ing pro-ac­tive as­sault on drug man­u­fac­ture, dis­tri­bu­tion and use in the Whit­sun­day re­gion.”

Th­ese are the words of Whit­sun­day Po­lice Act­ing Se­nior Sergeant Brad Teys, fol­low­ing a drug raid in Strathdickie on Tues­day, where a cannabis sup­ply with a street value of about $450k was found.

Act Snr Sgt Teys said in ad­di­tion to a sub­stan­tial quan­tity of green leafy ma­te­rial and vac­uum-packed cannabis bud, of­fi­cers from the Whit­sun­day Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch (CIB) dis­cov­ered a so­phis­ti­cated hy­dro­ponic set-up at a Strathdickie house.

Two men were ar­rested, charged with traf­fick­ing and other drug-re­lated of­fences and trans­ported in cus­tody to Mackay.

Yes­ter­day, the men were granted bail in the Mackay Mag­is­trate’s Court.

Steven An­drew Richards and Ger­ard Van Ansem were rep­re­sented by Bris­bane de­fence so­lic­i­tor Bill Potts who ap­peared via tele­phone.

Richards and Van Ansem were charged with traf­fick­ing cannabis be­tween Jan­uary 1 and July 2. They were also charged with pro­duc­ing and pos­sess­ing cannabis in amounts ex­ceed­ing sched­ule three and pos­sess­ing prop­erty in­clud­ing lights, chem­i­cals, fer­til­iz­ers, fans and lap- tops, used in con­nec­tion with a drug of­fence.

Richards is fur­ther charged with pos­sess­ing $1595 in cash, be­lieved to be the pro­ceeds of an of­fence un­der the drugs mis­use act.

All mat­ters were ad­journed to Oc­to­ber 25.

Mean­while Act Snr Sgt Teys said drug users in the Whit­sun­days could ex­pect to no­tice a se­ri­ous dent in the sup­ply.

“It will cer­tainly have a rip­ple ef­fect on the dis­tri­bu­tion of mar­i­juana in this area,” he said.

Act Snr Sgt Teys said Whit­sun­day Po­lice were de­ter­mined to fo­cus on the de­tec­tion of drug re­lated of­fences, “per­tain­ing to all drugs, not just mar­i­juana”.

“In forth­com­ing weeks there will be a ma­jor push in this vicin­ity to point re­sources at the un­law­ful pro­duc­tion, sup­ply and con­sump­tion of th­ese drugs and to re­duce the im­pact on the com­mu­nity,” he said.

SEIZED: Whit­sun­day Po­lice Act­ing Se­nior Sergeant Brad Teys with sam­ples of the mar­i­juana crop seized from a hyr­do­ponic set-up at a house in Strathdickie this week. Act Snr Sgt Teys said the drugs seized had an over­all street value of about $450k.

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