A "sophisticated, commercial" drugs ring worth millions was smashed overnight in a police raid, ending a five-month sting operation.
The Wellington Drug Squad seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cannabis and made five arrests in the raid, dubbed Operation Foxy.
As a result of six search warrants executed last night between Newtown and Kilbirnie, a 68-year old woman and 47-year old man will appear in the Wellington District Court today, charged with cultivating and selling cannabis.
Police also recovered close to 14 kilograms of cannabis and around $40,000 in cash.
Three more people were also arrested for possession of cannabis last night but have been bailed to appear in court at a later date.
"Police have severely impacted the cannabis supply chain in our community. This syndicate was responsible for millions of dollars worth of drugs flowing into our community and causing damage to many," Wellington District Organised Crime Manager Detective Inspector Darrin Thomson said.
Operation Foxy saw police spending five months investigating the activities of a well-organised, sophisticated commercial drug syndicate supplying tens of thousands of dollars of cannabis each week.
Mr Thomson said: "This group was firmly entrenched in an illicit commodity business that has now been dismantled by police.
"We have been gathering evidence of the assets accumulated by this syndicate over a period of time and our asset recovery unit is in the process of restraining several million dollars worth of residential property and cash."
Police believe the group had been operating for a number of years and their wealth accumulation was directly related to the ongoing supply of cannabis in the Wellington district.
Mr Thomson added: "Cannabis continues to be a harmful substance on a number of fronts.
"One being the drain on our health system as it is the leading illicit drug involved in hospital admissions, and the other being that purchasers often divert income from other every day necessities required to support their families.
"Operation Foxy should send a clear message to those involved in such activity that if you are accumulating wealth, we will pursue all possible avenues in holding you to account and seize any assets gained from that activity."