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September 25, 2021

CEP 2020 seizes 5,818 cannabis plants

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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 22 September, 2021

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Tweed Shire Council has put in place a plan to deal with the cane toad population in the area. Along with the not-for-profit organisation Watergum, Tweed Shire has launched a project for collecting toads that will begin in October.

A police report released early this morning says that nearly $12 million worth of cannabis has been seized as part of this year’s Cannabis Eradication Program (CEP).

The CEP is an annual operation, led by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Drug and Firearms Squad, which targets the outdoor cultivation of cannabis throughout Northern NSW.

Detectives were assisted by police from Coffs/Clarence, Richmond and Tweed/Byron Police Districts, as well as the Aviation Command, the Dog Unit, and other specialist units.

During this season’s program, police seized 5,818 plants, with an estimated potential street value of $11.6 million.

This includes more than 3,100 plants and 5kg of cannabis head seized in Coffs/Clarence Police District between 3 and 7 February 2020, more than 1,690 plants seized in Richmond Police District between 24 and 28 February, and 1,015 plants seized in Tweed/Byron Police District between 9 and 12 March 2020.

Many of the crops were growing in remote dense bushland.

All the plants were certified by an agronomist and have since been destroyed.

Twenty-five people were served Court Attendance Notices

In total, 25 people were served Court Attendance Notices for offences relating to the cultivation of cannabis.

Since February 2019, Drug and Firearms Squad detectives have seized 13,771 plants, with an estimated potential street value of $27.5 million.

Drug and Firearms Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent John Watson, said police have been confronted with challenging conditions this season.

‘The environment has been extremely challenging for police – we had the bushfires, rain, flooding – so to say the criminals are doing their best to get into really remote areas is an understatement,’ he said.

‘The expertise and assistance of our specialist units is essential to the success of the program and this year has been no different.’

CEP targets the networks behind the cultivation and supply

Det Supt Watson said the strategy behind the CEP targets the networks behind the cultivation and supply.

‘We have a dedicated investigative response to outdoor cannabis cultivation and by using intelligence to target known cultivation sites, we receive further information to conduct investigations into supply chains.

‘Criminals who profit from cultivating these drugs are often known to re-invest funds into other criminal enterprises that directly impact the communities of NSW.’

The Cannabis Eradication Program began in the 1980s and targets outdoor cannabis crops in the optimal growing season which runs throughout the warmer months of the year.

Cannabis plants with an estimated potential street value of more than $390 million have been seized during the program’s lifetime.

Anyone with information in relation to the cultivation and supply of cannabis is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

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  1. Wow.. i wonder how many people will turn to ice because they can’t smoke some organic pot… Time to stop this stupidity & legalize this harmless plant..

  2. “Cannabis Eradication Program” – How stupid can you get… this probably cost an absolute fortune… meanwhile domestic violence is rife and people in search of medical cannabis can’t get it because those “allowed” to supply it can’t.
    I don’t even know why the Echo even bother printing these fascist press releases… may as well print fake news!

  3. The Drug War continues.

    5818 is a heap of medicine denied.

    $12.7 million is lot of value taken out of the local economy.

    Who benefits?

    Job creation for cops, their aviators and their dog handlers.

    Job creation too for magistrates, court clerks, privatised prisons.

    The big beneficiary is BIG Pharma and its monopoly on pain relief medicine.

    Cops out of health care!

    The war on drugs is a war on the poor.

  4. That is a lot of money that will not be circulating in our local economy. Legal cultivation by corporations will generate money that goes straight to the city.

  5. There’s a virus that kills & holds the
    country to ransom & the best the
    boys in blue can do is likely to push
    people onto ice. Cannibas is a herb
    supported by medical practitioners
    to help treat, if not cure, many
    illnesses & its legality can no longer
    be questioned. Why the ‘herb’ bust?
    Any fool could answer that.

  6. So 5818 plants at $12mil = nearly $2000 a plant.

    Wow, I’m sure there’s a few growers who would like the cops to sell their dope for them ’cause I’m sure their not getting that much !

  7. I had the police chopper buzzing back and forth over my house for 6 hours straight,, Fools flew in rain and fog buzzing just above my house and trees.Very dangerous and very intrusive.They need to go away for ever those rude people.

  8. “Criminals” they call them. What about persecuted horticulturalists and medicinal warriors? Fighting a war waged upon the citizens of their own unlawful treasonous government.

    Any government that does not protect the interests of their own citizens, and willfully wages war against any of their own citizens, is not fit to be called governor, and only fit to swing in the gallows… or in the case of war-crimes, death by firing squad. That includes all armed soldiers who fight in that war against the people too.

    Release the innocent prisoners of war, Australian citizens, who should be protected by the government, and deal with the treasonous villains as the law of the land demands.

  9. How many Australians has this law killed by the prevention of sick people’s access to this known life saving medicine, and how many barefoot doctors prosecuted who were providing this still general publicly illicit (and privately inflamed priced) lifesaving medicine? The deaths from the Governments prevention of access to this known medicine appears to be covered by Australias Criminal Law, that states “that callous disregard to the impacts of an act that leads to death is an act of Murder”. Is the government killing Australians because they are being payed off from the mafia like gangs producing factory hydro cannabis? While the ques outside legal recreational Cannabis shops in the US get their legal supplies, in in case of the virus lockdown, in the Country that originally produced the Reefer Madness propoganda and the Australian Governments anti Cannabis psychosis!!

  10. A waste of resources chasing down Cannabis plants thats legal in parts of the world, and fights cancer etc cant die from overdoses such as with alcohol.

    Stop wasting time get rid of the ICE problem thats in country towns and everywhere, i feel and most Australians would agree this is a bigger issue


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