It might look like any other building on an industrial street in Melbourne’s suburbs, but this red brick factory held a major secret.
On Friday morning following a community tip off, Victorian police swooped in on a commercial property on Wannan Street in Highett, where they found a “sophisticated” hydroponic set up.
From there, they seized 1,200 cannabis plants, worth around $3 million, which weighed “almost a tonne”.
Two men, a 57-year-old and a 35-year-old of no fixed address, were arrested at the factory and taken into the Caulfield Police Station for questioning.
They were both subsequently charged with cultivating a large commercial quantity of cannabis and remanded to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Caulfield Divisional Response Unit detectives arrested a 29-year-old Elsternwick man after executing a search warrant at a home on Glen Huntley road in Elsternwick on Tuesday.
After searching the location, police allegedly found trafficable quantities of what is believed to be methylamphetamine, cocaine, MDMA and hallucinogens, along with firearm parts.
The man was charged with trafficking the illicit substances and possessing an unregistered firearm.
He was bailed to appear before the Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court in March next year.
Between the two incidents, police allegedly seized nearly a tonne of cannabis plants, 50 grams of what is alleged to be cocaine with a street value of $17,500, around 500 alleged MDMA pills with a value of $15,000, and 60 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of $12,000.
They also found 150 grams of an alleged hallucinogen, drug manufacturing items, a taser, firearm parts, ammunition and cash.
Caulfield Divisional Response Unit Detective Senior Sergeant David Quirk said community tip offs play a “crucial” role in any investigation.
“If you observe or hear any suspicious behaviour, such as covering or blacking out windows, strong plant smells and unusual or pedestrian movement, please call police,” Sergeant Quirk said.
“Rather than fattening the pockets of would-be criminals, more than $3 million of drugs are on a one-way ticket to being destroyed.
“This week’s results should serve as a sobering reminder to any dealer who may think they are invincible – sooner or later, we will be knocking on your door, and you will be facing several years in a prison cell.”