BY JESSICA ROUSE

A tip off from a member of the public led police to an elaborate drug house in Kotara this morning.

At about 8:30am police executed a search warrant for the house on Marshall Street and uncovered the sophisticated hydroponic drug set-up, but no one was found to be home.

More than 150 cannabis plants were found in various stages of growth and Detective Inspector Peter Mahon says the house was completely transformed.

“Each room in the premises, about five of, were in various stages of growing cannabis plants. The bathroom was set up as a filtration/fertilising watering system for the whole house. Power had been diverted from the line coming into the  house and there was a sophisticated network of electricity cables, switches, and cables were also located.”

As a result of the power being diverted, Energy Australia was brought in to disconnect the power to make it safe for officers to continue their search of the house

Police Rescue, forensic services, detectives from Newcastle and some linked to the target action group as well as external agencies were called in to remove the plants and dismantle the set-up.

“Investigations are ongoing. At this stage what we’re basically doing is dismantling the premises and then go to the next level of identifying who is responsible for this offence,” said Inspector Mahon.

Police aren’t in a position to comment on just how much the plants would be worth, but they can be sure it would be quite the enterprise and some of the plants were mature enough to be close to being harvested.

“If anyone is out there and wants to provide further information in relation to those responsible, by all means, contact us here at Newcastle Police or call Crime Stoppers.”

Crime Stoppers can be reached on 1800 333 000.