Police have seized thousands of marijuana plants from a rural property north of Gympie as part of a statewide drug operation in Townsville and Cairns that has resulted in nearly 1,000 charges being laid.

On Tuesday, September 12, police said officers working as part of Operation Vitrius executed a search warrant at the property located 30 kilometers north of Gympie.

Six greenhouses measuring 80 meters long were found on the property, each 10 meters wide, containing 2,284 marijuana plants and 6.9 kilograms of dried drug.

Police said “sophisticated hydroponic farming equipment” was also found at the site.

The total value of the seized items was approximately $11.5 million.

The total value of the marijuana and items seized during the raid on a property in Jonalda was about $11.5 million, police said.

No one was home at the time of the raid, and police said investigations are continuing.

The raid was part of a broader crackdown across the state that led to nearly $13 million worth of drugs being taken off the market, and 442 people charged with 981 offences.

Operation Vitreus is a multi-jurisdictional national operation.

From September 11 to 15, 2023, police executed 94 search warrants and seized 1.2 kg of methylamphetamine, 2,320 cannabis plants, 11.5 kg of marijuana, 700 grams of MDMA, 6 grams of heroin, 77 grams of cocaine, and $134,380 cash.

Elsewhere in the state, the postal system has emerged as a possible distribution system, through which police allege attempts have been made to deliver drugs.

Twenty-seven parcels were seized from postal facilities in Cairns and Townsville containing drugs including methamphetamine, ecstasy, GHB, cannabis, cocaine, prescription drugs and steroids.

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Police seized more than 2,200 marijuana plants in the raid on Jonalda’s property on Tuesday, September 12.

Investigations are still ongoing regarding the origin of these parcels.

On the same day as the Jonalda raid, police in Mooroopool, Cairns, allegedly found 350 grams of methamphetamine in the man’s unit during a search.

The 27-year-old man was charged with three counts of possession of dangerous drugs.

He will appear in Cairns Magistrates Court on September 28.

State Narcotics Task Force Inspector Bradley Phelps said the public had been invaluable in the recent arrests and charges.

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A 27-year-old Cairns man has been charged with possession of dangerous drugs and two counts of possession of dangerous drugs after a police search of his unit on the same day the raid on Jonalda was carried out.

Detective Inspector Phelps said: “These drug-producing criminal gangs make money from vulnerable people to take advantage of it and fund serious and violent crimes that threaten the safety of innocent members of the public.”

“Organized crime is cunning and knows no bounds, and while this action has cost the alleged criminals $13 million, police will not stop there.

“Members of the public are our eyes and ears and we would appeal to anyone who has any information that could assist the investigation, no matter how small, to come forward.”

    (Tags for translation)Oceania

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