Police seize cannabis crop on Murray Bridge’s east side

The raid was the first salvo in a new war on drugs in the Murray Mallee, Superintendent Scott Denny says.

This story has been made free to read under Murray Bridge News’ editorial policy on police operations. Please consider supporting our work by subscribing.

Superintendent Scott Denny displays one of the cannabis plants allegedly found growing at a property on Murray Bridge’s east side. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Murray Bridge police have had their first big win as they start a new push against the illicit drug trade.

Officers raided a property at Murray Bridge East on Wednesday, where they seized 28 cannabis plants and made one arrest.

The plants were being grown hydroponically, police will allege, in a shed which had been illegally connected to the electricity supply.

Superintendent Scott Denny said the raid had been about two months in the making.

Tips from members of the public allowed police to begin gathering the intelligence that led to yesterday’s sting.

“It might not look like much, but three months from now those plants would have been nine feet tall and you might have got three kilograms of dried cannabis from each one,” he said.

Police also seized cash and dried cannabis during the raid.

They charged a 45-year-old local man with cultivation, trafficking and possession of the cannabis, and with theft of the electricity used to grow it.

They granted him bail ahead of an appearance at Murray Bridge Magistrates Court on January 10.

However, Superintendent Denny said police would continue to focus on the illicit drug trade, led by a new tactical unit in the Murray Mallee district.

Cannabis use was a problem in and of itself, he said, but also tended to cause bigger problems in the community.

Too often people involved in the drug trade became involved in other criminal activity as well, and people’s cannabis use often aggravated other issues in their lives.

“We see both ends of it, from both a crime and a public health perspective, where mental health episodes in the community are linked to drug use,” he said.

“Most of the people we deal with are using illicit drugs.

“Some people’s perception can be that cannabis is not a serious drug, but that’s not correct.”

Police encourage anyone with information about the illicit drug trade to contact Crime Stoppers.

Anyone who does so can remain anonymous.

You can help keep local stories like this one free for everyone to read. Subscribe to Murray Bridge News today and support your independent, locally owned news service, plus get access to exclusive stories you won’t find anywhere else, from just $5 a month.