DETECTIVES are dismantling a hydroponic set-up which has been brazenly operating right next door to a public school in Sydney’s north.
Crime scene tape stretches from the side entrance of Eastwood Heights Public School on Lincoln Street right around the front of the brick house – where each room is filled with cannabis plants.
Police were walking out of the house carrying bundles of plants and are dumping them in piles on the front lawn.
There are children’s toys and bikes behind the piles of cannabis plants – props police say were used to give the house an air of legitimacy.
The home was one of 14 raided by police this morning as part of a mass operation targeting an organised cannabis syndicate operating in Sydney’s west and north-west.
Search warrants were executed about 7am across several suburbs including Carlingford, Smithfield, Beecroft, Greystanes, Parramatta, Rydalmere and Dundas Valley.
They uncovered a network operating 14 ‘grow houses’ in rental properties.
The raids were carried out by the NSW Police drug and firearm squad after a lengthy investigation into a number of hydroponic houses being used to grow cannabis.
Police were seen entering a house on Pennant Hills Road, Carlingford about 7.30am.
An elite tactical police unit of at least half a dozen officers stormed the house with white weathered blinds drawn.
The entire front yard was cordoned off and a large portion of time was spent searching the boot of an old white sedan which was parked in the garage.
Police are also raiding another Carlingford property nearby where they have so far found more than 100 cannabis plants.
Neighbour Richard Norton-Taylor, 35, said he had just got out of the shower when he noticed the police cars out the front of his house and went outside to watch the action unfold.
Mr Norton-Taylor said the man had been there for a few years but that he only ever saw him “once in a blue moon”– and also noted that he was very private and overly protective of his back hedge.
“I remember once I was trying to prune the hedges and he came out straight away and told me to stop,” he said. “Sometimes he’d the front yard but the backyard was like a forest.”
Source: The Daily Telegraph