Police discovers child locked up at a property where three adults grow cannabis in underground chambers

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The rifle of a federal agent is seen through a marijuana leaf during the destruction of a marijuana plantation on the outskirts of the town of Casas Grandes, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua July 18, 2011.Federal agents located and destroyed 9 marijuana plantations totalling 7.4 acres in various areas of Casas Grandes sierra, local media reported. The federal forces incinerated some 9,600 kg (9.6 tonnes) of the drug and no detentions were reported.Picture taken July 18, 2011. Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Senior police officials were shocked to discover a young child locked up in a room for a long period of time on Friday at a property in NSW where three adults were growing cannabis by means of sophisticated hydroponic set-up. The child, along with three other children between the age of one and nine years found at the property at Elands last Friday, is under the care of NSW Family and Community Services.

The ABC reported that the police discovered a hydroponic cannabis-growing arrangement underneath a working spa bath that runs on a hydraulics system. The police said they found four children aged between one and nine years old at property, one of whom was locked up in a room for a long time.

“At the home, police allegedly discovered a sophisticated hydroponics set-up and seized 225 cannabis plants in various stages of maturity,” police said. “Police will allege one of the children was locked in a room for long periods of time over the past few weeks.”

Three adults have been arrested and charged while the police are on look out for two more individuals in this connection.

"That side of the investigation is being handled by our child abuse squad," Detective Chief Inspector Peter McKenna said. "We're very thankful we got there when we did and that those children are now having the proper care that they need."

Police have reportedly found around 200 plants being grown in the chamber. The chamber, according to police, was located underneath a deck attached to the house, which moved hydraulically with the help of a remote control. The two trap doors below opened to a very sophisticated set up with around 225 plants.

Two men and a woman have been arrested in the raids and were produced in the Taree Local Court in the weekend. All three have been refused bail.

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