The National Police in Algeciras arrested the gang of drug traffickers, including their dangerous ringleader
Operation Toronto resulted in the seizure of 340 kilograms of hashish and four arrests, including the ringleader, known as El Taranto, a dangerous individual with a long criminal record, according to the National Police.
The investigation began in mid-2022 when Udyco de Algeciras (Central Narcotics Brigade) set their focus on a criminal organisation dedicated to the cultivation and trafficking of cannabis *Sativa plants in the La Piñera neighborhood of Algeciras.
The investigators located a house used as a production facility (a laboratory) for the cultivation and processing of marijuana. A person attended the indoor plantation daily for care and maintenance of the site. The gardener visited twice a day to control and aid the growth of the plants, on occasion, turning up with bags of peat and fertilizer.
During the surveillance, the ringleader, El Taranto was identified and related to violent incidents in recent months in the La Piñera neighborhood -some of them with a firearm.
El Taranto was observed going to the indoor marijuana plantation, allegedly to direct and monitor the progress of the crop, acting as owner, and leader of the organisation.
Upon obtaining a search warrant, officers raided the marijuana plantation and dismantled it. While on-site, agents seized 302 cannabis plants that were in an advanced stage of flowering, which yielded an approximate total gross weight of 16 kilos, in addition to 36 sodium bulbs with their lamp holders, 36 ballasts, 2 carbon filters, 4 air conditioners, fans, air extraction system devices, and numerous cultivation tools such as bags of peat and fertilizers.
The marijuana production cycle yielded four harvests per year, producing up to 10 kilos of dried buds ready for consumption per harvest. In a year of cultivation, they could collect up to 40 kilos of cannabis Sativa, which would mean a black market price of 80,000 euros of profit. The plantation also had an illegal connection to the power line, therefore “lowering costs.”
The group is charged with electricity fraud, being members of a criminal organization specialising in the introduction of hashish in Spain and the cultivation of marijuana.
The investigation was carried out by officers from the UDYCO of Algeciras, as well as agents from the UDEF, GOES, UPR, GOR, and canine handlers in the final phase.