Police believe the criminal organization smuggled drugs through the mail.
15 Arrested During Macro-Operation Against Marijuana Cultivation In Spain
SPAIN—— Spanish authorities have detained 15 people following a two-part operation to dismantle a criminal organization that specialized in cultivating marijuana.
The Spanish Civil Guard arrested 12 British nationals and three Lithuania nationals during 10 raids, according to a police report obtained by Zenger News last week.
Law enforcement officials began their investigation in March after learning of the existence of a cannabis plantation in Alicante. The first phase of the operation was conducted on Oct. 15 and included police searching two residences and a cannabis club in the city.
During the raids, three male suspects were arrested and 580 cannabis plants, 13.22 pounds of marijuana buds, 136 grams of hash and 3.34 ounces of hash oil were seized, along with a pickup truck, seven air conditioning devices and numerous items used for the cultivation of the plants.
The second phase of the operation unfolded on Oct. 27, when police conducted seven simultaneous raids across Mutxamel, Xabia, Teulada, Atlea and Murcia.
In addition to arresting 12 British nationals, officers seized 4,415 cannabis plants, 20.1 pounds marijuana buds, three pounds of hash, 268 ecstasy pills and 9.9 pounds of cocaine. They also found seven luxurious vehicles, one quad, two motorcycles, three packaging vacuums, a money counter, 16 air conditioning devices and hundreds of materials used to cultivate different narcotic substances.
Authorities believe the group was sending the drugs to the United Kingdom, the Balearic Islands and other parts of Spain. The organization is thought to have trafficked the substances by smuggling them through the mail.
Of those arrested, 10 have already been sent to prison, while five remain on probation.
Police in Spain have been cracking down on the cultivation and distribution of marijuana lately. The National Police announced earlier this month that officers had discovered a state-of-the-art cannabis laboratory hidden underneath tennis courts in Moron de la Frontera. As a result, five people were arrested and 551 pounds of marijuana were seized.
(Edited by Carlin Becker and Fern Siegel)