Po­lice find dope gear

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KARO­LINE TUCKEY

A raid on a Plim­mer­ton prop­erty has re­sulted in one ar­rest and the seizure of hy­dro­ponic equip­ment po­lice be­lieve was used to grow cannabis up to the value of $810,000.

Act­ing Se­nior Sergeant Steve Dunn said po­lice raided a unit in an in­dus­trial area of Plim­mer­ton last Wed­nes­day morn­ing after re­ceiv­ing a tipoff from the pub­lic.

He said it was dif­fi­cult to know how much cannabis could have been grown with the equip­ment, but there were more than 20 lamps, which could light two to 10 plants each. Plants could yield six to nine ounces of cannabis, which could sell for $350 to $450 an ounce.

The hy­dro­ponic equip­ment alone was likely to be worth at least $20,000, Mr Dunn said.

The size of the setup sug­gested an op­er­a­tion that sup­plied mar­kets in Porirua and the Kapiti Coast.

‘‘This was equip­ment that could have been used for a re­ally sig­nif­i­cant com­mer­cial grow.

‘‘It shows how much money is be­ing made through cannabis cul­ti­va­tion, be­cause the setup costs are re­ally quite high – this stuff was re­ally quite tech­ni­cally ad­vanced.

‘‘This [seizure] would have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on who­ever was in­volved in it.’’

A 24-year-old Porirua man has been charged with pos­sess­ing ar­ti­cles and equip­ment for the cul­ti­va­tion of cannabis. He was to ap­pear to­day in Porirua District Court.

No-one else was ar­rested in the raid, and no drugs or cash were found, although in­quiries were con­tin­u­ing, Mr Dunn said. Po­lice were not aware of any gang con­nec­tions to the op­er­a­tion.

The seizure and pre­ven­tion of fur­ther cannabis grow­ing would have had a real so­cial im­pact on the com­mu­nity, he said.

‘‘There’s more and more med­i­cal re­search that has pub­li­cised the link be­tween the pro­longed use of cannabis and quite se­ri­ous men­tal health prob­lems that have a se­ri­ous so­cial im­pact. It’s not this soft, so­cially ac­cept­able drug that it was in the 60s and 70s; its ac­tive in­gre­di­ents are re­ally quite high due to the cul­ti­va­tion meth­ods.’’

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