A POLICE investigation into a family clan illegally growing and selling marijuana saw a major blitz on illegal power supply hook-ups in Almeria city.
Around 50 police officers and technicians from the Endesa electricity company took part in ‘Operacion Tarifa’, which ended in 18 arrests and in cutting off the electricity supply to 96 properties in the Cerro de San Cristobal district of the provincial capital.
Police first launched an investigation a year ago after it became apparent marijuana was being grown in a number of properties in the neighbourhood. Checking out goings on was a complicated process though.
The narrow streets, many of them pedestrianised, the scarcity of vehicles and passers-by in the area, and the hostile nature of residents, with someone always on the lookout for the law, made discreet surveillance tricky.
Over the months the police uncovered a well-organised family structure making a lot of money from growing and selling marijuana, each member with their own particular responsibilities.
As well as cutting off the unauthorised power connections, the operation also resulted in the seizure of more than 3,500 cannabis plants, pistols and shoguns and some €60,000 in cash.
Six of the detainees are being held in prison on charges including illegal gun ownership, defrauding the power supply, robbery and a crime against public health.