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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Hydroponic cannabis, "Organised crime at its best" [AU]
    #4286599 - 06/12/05 01:58 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

Cannabis crops exchanged for heroin
June 13, 2005 - heraldsun.news.com.au

HYDROPONIC cannabis crops are being grown by organised crime syndicates in Melbourne houses, taken to Sydney and exchanged for heroin, which is brought back to Melbourne.

Police say criminals are using up to five rented suburban houses at a time to grow production-line cannabis crops worth millions of dollars.

Det-Supt Tony Biggin, head of the Victoria Police major drug investigation division, said the hydroponic operations were "organised crime at its best".

Vietnamese crime gangs were behind many of the most sophisticated hydroponic networks, and controlled much of Melbourne's heroin trade.

"Cannabis is not a drug of choice for most of these people, just a very lucrative cash crop," he said.

Hydroponic crops of fewer than 100 high-quality plants sell for up to $350,000 -- enough to buy three 350g blocks of heroin worth $1 million each.

"The cannabis is grown in Melbourne, transported to Sydney and swapped for heroin, which is brought back to Melbourne and sold here," Det-Supt Biggin said yesterday.

Other hydroponic operations recently discovered by police have included:

A FACTORY in the western suburbs with a fully equipped office area as a front for a cannabis production line of seedlings, about 500 mature plants and drying rooms.

AN interstate entrepeneur using elderly pensioners in central Victoria to grow small hydroponic crops in their homes.

A SHOP in the western suburbs where a receiver was handling stolen goods downstairs and growing cannabis in the residence upstairs, while seedlings were grown in a room in another house nearby.

A CROP cultivated by an man, 83, arrested last week by the major drug investigation division.

Det-Supt Biggin said regional police and MDID detectives had seized so much cannabis in recent months that storage facilities had been stretched to the limit.

"At one stage earlier this year we had no more storage left, so we all had to stop until we could clear the backlog," Det-Supt Biggin said.

Hydroponic operations use powerful lights to heat the plants for up to 16 hours a day and produce mature plants in 10-12 weeks.

They often use electricity bypassed from the power supply in houses rented for the purpose and fortified to prevent rip-offs by competitors.

Each plant yields about 1lb (450g) of cannabis, which is sold for an average of $2500 and up to $4000 for top quality plants.

Det-Supt Biggin said many of the crops were cloned plants which were probably all coming from one location.

"You struggle to get your hand around the stems of the really good ones, they're that thick," he said.

"We found some a while back we had to cut down with a chainsaw."

Police say crops are looked after by minders who go to the "grow houses" to tend the plants two or three days a week and feed them chemicals and nutrients to promote quick growth.

Some crop sitters working for drug syndicates are believed to be paid up to $20,000 per crop.

Police have found illegal immigrants being used to tend crops, as well as elderly pensioners who were likely to be treated leniently by the courts if they were charged.

Det-Supt Biggin said hydroponic crops were usually limited to just under 100 plants -- the point the law defined as a commercial quantity with the risk of a higher penalty.

The maximum penalty for cultivating or trafficking a commercial quantity of cannabis (more than 100 plants) is 25 years' jail.

"And surprise, surprise, all the crops we're seizing are between 90 and 95 plants," Det-Supt Biggin said. "Some of the more sophisticated groups have four or five different houses on the go with just under 100 plants all at different levels.

"The other interesting thing is we rarely find any dry material -- just plants.

"There's obviously a central point where it all goes, where it's dried and we can't find it."

Det-Supt Biggin said THC levels in the plants were very high.

"They're producing very potent stuff, which produces more problems with things like cannabis psychosis and other health-related issues, as well as drug driving," he said.

Police say the hydroponic cannabis boom is centred on Melbourne's western suburbs, where regional response units are making regular arrests.

The MDID has a team of detectives working exclusively on hydroponic crop investigations.

"If I was to throw my whole office (70 detectives) at it I could keep them gainfully employed every day doing cannabis," Det-Supt Biggin said.


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OfflineCptnGarden
fuck this site
Registered: 05/13/04
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Last seen: 7 years, 7 months
Re: Hydroponic cannabis, "Organised crime at its best" [AU] [Re: veggie]
    #4287122 - 06/12/05 04:24 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

""They're producing very potent stuff, which produces more problems with things like cannabis psychosis and other health-related issues, as well as drug driving," he said. "

wtf cannabis psychosis? and whats higher potency have to do with driving? your a better driver when your stoned anyways... this world is retarded.


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Offlinepshawny
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Registered: 09/11/04
Posts: 1,332
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Re: Hydroponic cannabis, "Organised crime at its best" [AU] [Re: veggie]
    #4287788 - 06/12/05 06:45 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

"Each plant yields about 1lb (450g) of cannabis, which is sold for an average of $2500 and up to $4000 for top quality plants."

Who comes up with these figures, lol. I'd like 1lb from each plant.


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InvisibleRavus
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Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 7,991
Loc: Cave of the Patriarchs
Re: Hydroponic cannabis, "Organised crime at its best" [AU] [Re: pshawny]
    #4288176 - 06/12/05 08:03 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

You wouldn't want to confuse the poor masses, and one pound is such a nice even number...

After all, it's either one pound or one ton, and a pound is easier to believe.

And the citing of the approximate number of grams afterwards, well! That just seals the deal of authenticity while retaining simplicity.


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So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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