Dismantled in Valencia, Castellón and Tarragona a network that distributed marijuana to Europe

National Police officers have arrested 17 people and have dismantled six marijuana production laboratories in towns of Valencia, Castellón and Tarragona, which were “perfectly prepared and equipped” with the devices necessary to achieve several harvests a year of a substance that distributed throughout Europe.

In the operation, the agents have seized 162 kilos of substance, which they distributed on a “large scale”, more than 3,000 marijuana plants, 9,000 euros, two machines for vacuum packaging, several mobile phones, a laptop and four vehicles, as reported by the Police in a statement.

Detainees, of different nationalities, are considered alleged perpetrators of crimes against public health, criminal organization, fraud of electric power, money laundering, documentary falsification and infringement of the immigration law.

The agents carried out eight house searches in the Valencian towns of Paterna, Estivella, Beniparrell, Moncada and Godella; Castellón and Ulldecona (Tarragona) and 162 kilos of marijuana were dry -prepared and ready for distribution in Europe-; 3,160 marijuana plants; 9,000 euros; two machines for vacuum packaging; several mobiles, a laptop and four vehicles.

The investigation began last January when investigators intercepted a car in Paterna that gave off a strong smell of marijuana. The agents detained the occupants, two men of Albanian origin, for violation of the aliens law and tried unsuccessfully to locate hidden departments of narcotic substance, called “caletas”.

From this moment, the agents continued with the investigations and located several homes where he grew marijuana and that, at the same time, served as places of residence for those arrested. After several efforts, the investigators discovered a whole criminal network dedicated to the cultivation and distribution of marijuana.

During the investigations, the agents identified the people who formed the criminal organization, made up mostly of citizens of Albanian origin, and whose operations center was located in the town of Paterna. From there, the top managers of the network rented single-family homes in different residential areas of the Valencian Community and Tarragona in order to go “completely unnoticed” and install “indoor” marijuana cultivation laboratories in the homes.

The organization recruited people, many of them without work and without a residence permit, to whom, after a phase of learning and motivation, they assigned one of the villas in which a marijuana plantation was located, which they had to care for and collect. In this way they intended to go unnoticed in the neighborhood.

The agents found that the chalets were controlled and supervised by other members of the group who were in charge of both supplying the necessary materials for the crops and supplying the people who cared for them. This middle tier of the network was also in charge of detecting possible surveillance by the Police.

Once the marijuana plantations were collected, they were transferred to a warehouse where the plants were dried and packed for distribution and wholesaling, mainly by European countries.