Cannabis farm found in forest

POLICE have uncovered cannabis worth more than $100,000 growing in the Stanley State Forest near Beechworth.

A Beechworth man, 30, will appear in court in April charged with cultivating a commercial quantity of the drug.

In a planned raid, 14 officers from Beechworth, Wodonga and Wangaratta found 155 plants growing in deep bushland along a creek near the Nine Mile Track about 8.30am yesterday.

They estimated the plants were about three months away from maturation and thought the crop would fetch more than $100,000 on the street.

The plants were being grown in four different locations within a kilometre in ground that had been cleared and was protected by wire fencing.

The raid was the culmination of a two-month investigation sparked by a fisherman who reported finding the plants.

Beechworth police Leading Sen-Constable Halena Chandler said the man stumbled across the crop.

“It’s great the community can come to the police and give us the information,” Sen-Constable Chandler said.

“We rely on the public for information to be able to achieve these results.”

Sen-Constable Chandler said it was her biggest find in five years.

She said it was satisfying to prevent the drug from ending up on the street.

Police searched a home in Beechworth at the same time the plants were being uncovered.

The Beechworth man was charged with cultivating a commercial quantity of a narcotic plant and possessing and using a drug of dependence.

He was bailed to appear at Wodonga Magistrates’ Court on April 23.

Anyone with information on growing, selling or use of drugs is urged to phone the police.

Information can be passed anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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