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Police arrest 17, sieze cannabis worth $500K in weekend raids

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Queensland police have destroyed thousands of dollars worth of hydroponic equipment to warn people off growing cannabis locally due to state border closures.

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The $56,000 worth of equipment was seized and destroyed in 18 weekend raids, which led to 17 people being charged with 67 offences, in the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay-Burnett regions.

Properties in the Glass House Mountains, Nambour, Mount Coolum, Maleny and Glenwood were searched with police confiscating $474,600 worth of drugs, including 156 cannabis plants and 12kg of dried cannabis

Detective Acting Superintendent Troy Pukallus says the destruction of the hydroponic growing equipment is a warning to people considering growing cannabis locally due to state border closures.

“This operation will impact drug availability on the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay Burnett region, making the community safer ahead of the holiday period,” he said.

“It also sends a message to those involved in the illicit drug market, who may have turned to locally producing cannabis as a result of supply issues with the border closures of COVID-19: know that police will continue taking every opportunity to target and disrupt your criminal behaviour.”

Police also seized a sawn-off .22 bolt action rimfire rifle and crossbow in the weekend raids.

The 17 people allegedly involved have been charged with 67 offences, including 15 counts of producing dangerous drugs.

A 47-year-old Maleny man, charged with five counts of supplying dangerous drugs, is due to appear in the Nambour Magistrates Court on January 21.

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