$2m cannabis grow houses at 'organised crime level'
UPDATE 5.45PM: Hundreds of high-quality, mature marijuana plants with an estimated street value approaching $2 million have been seized from two elaborate grow houses in the Lockyer Valley.
Inside two seemingly harmless houses on corner blocks in Gatton, police will allege organised crime syndicates with international links grew large quantities of cannabis to fuel the drug supply trade around the wider region.
The Lockyer Valley Crime Car received a key piece of information early this morning leading to the first house on Falconer St, just 1km from the Gatton CBD.
"We estimate at this stage somewhere in the vicinity of 150 to 200 cannabis plants are being produced in this residence," LVCC Sergeant Bradley Browning said.
"Each and every room in this residence has been used to grow cannabis plants."
An elaborate hydroponic set-up with matching chemicals and systems was found as a result of further investigations at another Gatton home 800m away in Custance Crt.
Sgt Browning said an initial search found 200 plants inside the home using the same method of false walls and boarded-up windows.
"These are addresses that are linked to previous search warrants executed by the State Drug Investigation Unit back in February this year in the Brisbane area," he said.
State Crime Command detectives raided six homes in Brisbane on February 20-21, locating six purpose-built grow houses and seizing 459 cannabis plants, 10kg of dried cannabis and large amounts of drug production material.
Three people were charged with 42 offences over the haul which police estimated to be more than $2.35m.
The trio was detained by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and faces deportation.
Sgt Browning said three Vietnamese women arrested at a Golf Links Dr home three weeks ago were connected to the same syndicate.
A Vietnamese man remains on the run.
Sgt Browning said the raids had delivered another significant blow to organised crime networks and drug traffickers.
"We're talking hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars of cannabis at a street level if it was to be produced and sold so this will hurt them (traffickers) to the bone," he said.
He urged anyone with suspicions about drug production to contact Crime Stoppers or local police.
2.50PM: Police will spend the coming days forensically testing mass amounts of evidence seized in raids in the Lockyer Valley today.
Detectives estimate the street value of cannabis crops seized at a Falconer St and Custance St house to be about $2 million.
Lockyer Valley Crime Car and Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad officers have seized more than 300 plants from the two houses which had been entirely converted into drug grow houses.
It is believed the two houses are connected to a converted two-storey home raided in Golf Links Dr in Gatton earlier this month.
In all three busts, which police say has delivered a massive blow to the region's drug industry, a crucial tip from the public led to the result.
2PM: Police have uncovered two large scale marijuana grow houses in residential areas this afternoon.
Lockyer Valley Crime Car and Toowoomba Tactical Crime Squad officers are dismantling the two houses where mass amount of cannabis plants have been found.
Detectives estimate about 300 mature size plants have been found in three rooms of one lowset brick home on Falconer St.
It is believed the drug set up was uncovered by a homeowner who had gone to the house to inquire why the rent wasn't paid.
Hundreds of what appear to be harvested plants have also been seized as well as hydroponic light set ups and drug producing equipment.