NEW England police have seized almost $7 million worth of cannabis in the first of their 2012-13 drug raids.
The raids are part of an ongoing cannabis-eradication program, dating back to the 1980s, which is run by specialist police team Strike Force Hyperion.
The group includes detectives from the drug squad’s cannabis team, with assistance from the NSW Police Air Wing, Police Dog Unit, Radio Electronics Unit and local police.
During the past week, Hyperion officers targeted more than 50 cannabis crop sites throughout the New England Local Area Command, in areas including Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Diehard, Carrai and Glen Elgin.
More than 3450 plants, most near maturity, were found and seized by police during the operation and will soon be destroyed.
The plants’ estimated street value could be about $6.9 million.
During the course of the week, police also seized about 7.5kg of dried cannabis, along with cannabis seeds and hash.
Investigators anticipate issuing a number of future court attendances as a result of this week’s raids.