Two men face Dubbo court on cannabis cultivation charges

Good result: Detective Chief Inspector Rod Blackman praises officers for their work that put two men (inset) before the court on drug cultivation charges. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Good result: Detective Chief Inspector Rod Blackman praises officers for their work that put two men (inset) before the court on drug cultivation charges. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Two men accused of cultivating a cannabis crop with an estimated street value of about $3 million at a remote property east of Dubbo have faced court.

Mario Anthony Loiero, 56, is charged with cultivating 500 cannabis plants as well as supplying 60 kilograms of the prohibited drug.

Police will allege the Prairiewood man played a significant role in the cannabis cultivation at a property on Bundalah Road at Euchareena, east of Dubbo, documents tendered to the court by the prosecution show.

Co-accused Giuseppe Antonio Calarco, 57, also faced Dubbo Local Court on Monday.

He is charged with cultivating 500 cannabis plants.

The charges were laid after officers from the State Crime Command’s drug squad executed a warrant on Sunday.

It came after months of investigations.

On January 18 officers had conducted covert rural surveillance at the property, the documents tendered to the court by the prosecution show.

They allegedly located a large cannabis plantation in dense scrub about 400 metres away from a hut, the documents show.

Investigators allegedly saw a sophisticated automated irrigation and fertiliser system within a greenhouse within the plantation, the documents show.

Police work over the coming two months led to the arrest of the two men on Sunday morning at the property.

The men each applied for bail when they appeared before magistrate Paul Hayes.

Mr Loiero was refused bail to reappear before the same court on May 17.

Mr Calarco was granted bail with conditions that he live at a West Hoxton address, report daily to police and not contact the co-accused and is due back in court on May 17.

Detective Chief Inspector Rod Blackman said on Tuesday the street value of the drugs in the allegation was “estimated at around $3 million of combined product between the plants and the harvested product”.

“What happened on Sunday was the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication by, particularly State Crime Command drug squad… and ultimately on Sunday that all came off with a joint executed search warrant with State Crime Command and Orana Local Area Command officers,” he said.

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