Home lost but $600,000 cannabis stash untouched by fires
POLICE inspecting fire-damaged dwellings at Kremnos this week weren't expecting to find any greenery left in the region, let alone 118 plants completely unscathed by Saturday's fires.
What they uncovered was a complex hydroponic cannabis operation in a buried shipping container.
Police first inspected the McGills Rd property on Monday afternoon while making inquiries into the fires which swept through the region on Saturday.
Power cords running from a nearby home led officers to a trapdoor in the ground, which lifted to reveal a buried shipping container.
During a search warrant conducted yesterday, officers located and seized 118 mature cannabis plants with an estimated street value of $590,000 from the underground bunker.
A 68-year-old man, who lived at the address, was arrested at the scene and charged with cultivation of a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and supply of a prohibited drug.
He has been granted bail to attend Grafton Local Court on September 15.
Coffs/Clarence crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said the command would continue to crack down on all illegal drug activity in the region.
"If you want to grow, supply or use illicit drugs including cannabis in this command, you can expect a knock at the door at any stage," he said.