Cops destroy $10m worth of ganja in Sangre Grande

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The campsite where marijuana was destroyed during a TTPS anti-gang operation in Sangre Grande. – Photo courtesy TTPS

POLICE believe they have made a significant dent in the operations of an organised criminal group, having destroyed over $10 million worth of marijuana on April 17 in an anti-gang operation in the Sangre Grande area.

A police statement said officers went three miles into a forested area at Upper Cunapo Road, Sangre Grande, where they found two camps equipped with solar panels, water tanks, air conditioning units and other amenities.

The police were from the Eastern Division Gang and Intelligence Unit (EDGIU) and the Eastern Division Task Force, in collaboration with the Region Two Gang Unit and the Air Support Unit.

They destroyed 111 kilogrammes of cured marijuana with an estimated street value of $3,333,341.

They also destroyed 2,550 marijuana plants with a combined weight of 255 kilogrammes of local marijuana worth $7,632,405.

The marijuana was on three acres of forested land.

The police also destroyed two growhouses with solar panels and air conditioning units.

The total is an estimated $10,965,746.

The exercise was the result of investigations into a Belmont-based organised crime group.

On March 14, EDGIU officers held a similar operation and found a campsite in a forested area off the Upper Cunapo Road, Sangre Grande.

There, they destroyed 500 fully grown marijuana trees, an estimated 400 marijuana seedlings and ten kilogrammes of cured marijuana.

The estimated street value of the marijuana was $6,597,170.

In the recent past, officers of the Eastern Division also arrested and charged a 21-year-old man for having 36 packets of marijuana that weighed 24.8 kilogrammes.

That arrest came after a car chase in the Sangre Grande district.

Marijuana plants found in a TTPS anti-gang operation in Sangre Grande. – Photo courtesy TTPS

On February 13, EDGIU police charged two men after surveillance at a campsite 12 kilometres into a forested area off Romain Trace, Guaico, Tamana.

The men were caught tending to a marijuana field with about 1,024 full-grown trees and an estimated 1,000 seedlings on about four acres of land. They had an estimated street value of $3,283,203.

Police also discovered and seized a Draco rifle fitted with a laser and seven rounds of 7.62 ammunition.

The statement said the Eastern Division continues to implement anti-gang and crime suppression initiatives to further reduce serious reported crimes. These crimes are inextricably linked to the illegal drug and gun trade that are negatively affecting several of the rural and unplanned communities under its care.

These measures are also being supported by a softer approach to policing. The statement added that community-oriented officers are working with psychosocial support agencies and community stakeholders to provide an alternative, sustainable life to young people confronted by the gang culture and influence in these communities.

The police encourage people to continue providing actionable information to the police on gangs, drug-pushing and guns.

This can be done via the anti-crime hotline 555, 736-TTPS (8877) or Crime Stoppers at 800-TIPS (8477).