Cannabis plants with a street value of half a million dollars were confiscated from a residential property in Wainuiomata recently.
Police Response Manager Inspector Geoff Gwyn says more than 60 mature plants were found in a two-storey home that police allege was painstakingly set up as a cultivation operation.
“The guy had divided the bottom part of the house into seven sections dedicated to various stages of cultivation. There was a sophisticated watering system, ventilation, a charcoal air filteration system to stop the cannabis smell and a large lighting set up.”
A 48-year-old male, Patrick O’Donnell, appeared in court on three charges, including possession of cannabis for supply and cultivation of cannabis.
Mr Gwyn allege O’Donnell had also set up an electrical system so that none of the power consumed to keep the 24-hour cultivation area going was measured on the meter.
“It’s estimated he was using 15 times the power a normal household uses in one day, each day.”
Police say apart from the 60 plants, $25,000 cash was also found on the premises along with five-and-a-half kilos of “head” worth about $55,000 ready to go out on the streets.
The premises were watched over by security guards on night after the arrest warrant was executed and the confiscated marijuana will be disposed of after samples have been taken.
Mr Gwyn says the major drugs bust is a result of strong efforts by the Crime and Crash Team, led by Sergeant Mike Sarten.
O’Donnell was remanded on bail until 6 August, with conditions that include reporting to the Wainuiomata police station and not consuming any alcohol or drugs.