South Australian police have seized $6 million worth of cannabis and cash in a strike force dubbed ‘Operation Hemp.’ The police raided 19 homes across Adelaide, of which 12 had hydroponic set-ups.
The raid is a result of an ongoing investigation in what authorities term as ‘organized crime syndicate’ involved in drug trafficking. The operation saw police officers seize 642 cannabis plants, 61kg of dried cannabis, and $29,000 cash. They also found one vehicle at the scene.
According to SA police, the drug was to be sold in local markets across the country. They also have evidence “suggesting some money made from trafficking was sent to European countries.”
The operation also saw three men arrested and will be taken to court for drug charges. The authorities believe the seizures should be a deterrent measure to others involved in the same illegal practices.
“It is also a timely reminder for those renting properties to ensure that they follow tenancy guidelines and processes. In many of these cases, landlords have entered into cash arrangements without bonds and have failed to conduct inspections,” Serious and Organized Crime Branch officer in charge Detective Superintendent Stephen Taylor said on Wednesday.
According to SA police, the three suspects, a 40-year old man, a 39-year old man, and a 37-year old man were all charged with cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis, theft of electricity, money laundering, and trafficking. They will appear in court on different dates.
No prosecution for minor marijuana possession in Nashville
Meanwhile, in related cannabis news, the Nashville District Attorney’s Office has stopped prosecution for possessing less than half an ounce of marijuana.
In an announcement made on Wednesday, District Attorney Glenn Funk said:
Marijuana charges do little to promote public health, and even less to promote public safety. Demographic statistics indicate that these charges impact minorities in a disproportionate manner. This policy will eliminate this area of disproportionately in the justice system.
According to the DA’s office, the move to eliminate minor marijuana charges will reduce the costs for jail housing, courts, and clerk’s offices. The resources used in prosecuting these charges will now go into “supporting victims and prosecuting violent crime.”
Commenting on the policy change, Nashville Mayor John Cooper expressed his support for the policy change.
I support the DA’s decision to stop prosecuting minor marijuana offences in Davidson County. We need to continue working to ensure that people have access to drug treatment and that we are doing everything we can to keep nonviolent young people out of the criminal justice system, Mayor Cooper said in a statement.