Newscastle, Australia (Newscastle Herald, Feb 14,2018): ONE had a baby walker and Christmas lights but six Maitland homes raided by the drug squad on Wednesday were anything but family friendly.
Police have arrested four allegedly low-level Vietnamese operatives and will investigate whether they are linked to a criminal syndicate after the discovery of up to 1400 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of more than $2 million.
But the huge haul came as no surprise to senior police, who have over the past two years dismantled nearly a dozen grow houses across the Hunter and put several other Vietnamese nationals behind bars.
Strike Force Devom detectives conducted the coordinated raids on six homes in Raworth, Tenambit, Heddon Greta, Aberglasslyn and Chisholm about 8am.
It is alleged the homes were fronts for an extremely sophisticated cannabis growing operation.
More than 400 mature plants were unearthed from one home alone.
The homes allegedly contained dozens of grow lights, hundreds of meters worth of wiring, fake walls and watering and ventilation systems.
It is alleged all the homes were bypassing the electricity suIt is alleged the electricity supply had been bypassed to feed more power into the homes.
Police spent hours transferring the cannabis plants into rental trucks and were still counting the haul by the afternoon. Police confirmed the haul topped 1400 plants – a significant haul even in comparison to other major cannabis busts in recent years.
Three men and a woman – all Vietnamese nationals – were arrested at the scene and were expected to be charged.
Police will allege the four were “crop-sitting” at the properties.pply to feed power into the homes.