The Civil Guard dismantles a criminal organization that manufactured and distributed marijuana in La Rioja and the Basque Country

Four “narconaves” destined for the production and distribution of more than 1,800 kg of marijuana per year have been dismantled and 5,805 marijuana plants that had been genetically treated to obtain a higher THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) rate have been intervened and destroyed

To maximize economic benefits, members of the organization had started experimenting with marijuana cold washers, to extract pollen from cannabis and make hashish.

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the "Apostaxi" operation, has arrested 7 people who are members of an organization dedicated to the cultivation, processing and trafficking of drugs in La Rioja and the Basque Country and who came to distribute more than 1,800 annually kg. In the operation, four industrial buildings for the systematic production of cannabis sativa have been dismantled in the Rioja towns of Briones, Haro, Nájera and Tricio.

Likewise, a total of 5,805 marijuana plants have been intervened and destroyed, which had been genetically treated to obtain a THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), large amounts of substrate for the plants, 24 tanks for drip irrigation with a capacity of 1,000 liters in each one of them, 290 ballasts, 350 HPS (high sodium pressure) lamps, surface pumps, air conditioners and carbon filters to clean the odor, washing machine to process hashish resin, 7,150 euros in cash, radio frequency inhibitors, mobile telephony, precision scales and abundant documentation.

It should be noted that three of the industrial warehouses were operating at full capacity to obtain up to six annual harvests in each of them. For its operation, the organization had practiced illegal couplings to the public electrical network through a work pipeline, estimating the amount of defrauded electrical fluid at € 66,270.
This organization to maximize its economic benefits had started experimenting with cold marijuana washers, to extract pollen from cannabis and make hashish. This method is increasingly being used by criminal organizations, to squeeze all the trichomes (cannabis resin glands) to the maximum and obtain a hash with high levels of cannabinoid THC.
The operation began in May last year, when the Civil Guard dismantled one of the narconaves that had been installed inside an industrial warehouse of 800 square meters, located in the Rioja town of Haro. This action allowed the seizure of 2,765 marijuana plants at the optimum collection point, which yielded a net weight of 212.39 kilos.
With this intervention, the agents identified each of their members of the organization and located the other three ships located in the Rioja towns of Briones, Nájera and Tricio. For this reason, the members were arrested simultaneously and the narconaves and two houses in Haro were entered and searched.
Organized and hierarchical structure
The members of the organization were highly specialized in drug trafficking and maintained a fully organized and hierarchical relationship, with great mobility throughout the national territory, they took strong security measures to hinder police work and with very defined roles to carry out their criminal activity .
Likewise, the head of the organization was the person in charge of economic and administrative management, in addition to supervising and assigning the tasks to each of his subordinates.
The “getter” was in charge of locating and renting the industrial warehouses, mainly in polygons with little traffic by people and vehicles. The “fitter”, an expert electrician who carried out the electrical installations for the conditioning of the plants, in addition to the illegal connections to the public connection. The "grower" was in charge of the supervision and manipulation of the seeds, pots and the necessary soil for the plants, the "caretaker" being responsible for the safety of the ships, the supervision of the harvests, their packaging and delivery to the "carrier ”For distribution.
€ 240,000 investment
It should be noted that the organization spared no expense to carry out its criminal activity, since it installed the latest in cultivation systems, aeration and technology in the four narconaves to accelerate the natural growth and flowering regime of the “cannabis sativa” plant. " It is estimated that the criminal organization could have invested between € 240,000 between renting and fitting out the warehouses.
The operation has been carried out by agents of the Organized Crime and Anti-Drug Team (EDOA) of the Organic Unit of the Judicial Police of the Civil Guard in La Rioja with the collaboration of members of the Functional Unit for Patrols (UFP), Security Citizen and Cynological Service with drug detection dogs under the supervision of the Number One Investigating Court of Haro (La Rioja).


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