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72 Australians arrested in operation targeting hydroponic stores

  1. chillinwill
    From: http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/police-arrest-72-over-drug-offences-20080926-4oi2.html

    More than 70 people have been arrested on drug offences after a seven-month police operation targeting a chain of hydroponic retail stores in Adelaide.


    Police said Operation Desire began in February and had resulted in the seizure of 145 kilograms of dried cannabis, 434 cannabis plants, 245 grams of cocaine, 310 grams of amphetamines and 235 LSD tablets.
    Among the 72 people arrested were an electrician and four men who had owned or managed hydroponic stores.


    On Tuesday, a 22-year-old NSW man was arrested at Adelaide Airport as he tried to board a plane with 17kg of dried cannabis.
    All those detained face charges relating to the cultivation and trafficking of cannabis and other illicit drugs.


    Most were taken into custody on Thursday as police raided homes and a number of hydroponic stores across Adelaide.


    "It will be alleged that the store employees assisted customers to set up hydroponic drug growing systems by selling hydroponic equipment and cannabis plants and providing advice and arranging electricians and other assistance," a police spokesman said.
    "It will also be alleged that store employees facilitated the purchase of dried cannabis for distribution to interstate networks."
    Police said the arrest of three men in July in relation to the trafficking of 45kg of cannabis to NSW was also linked to Operation Desire.

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