WIMMERA police want residents to be aware of their neighbours, as they continue investigations into cannabis growing in western Victoria believed to be linked to organised crime.
It follows a raid on a house in Horsham on Friday night, which was sparked by a raid on a Hamilton house on Friday morning.
Horsham Criminal Investigation Unit Detective Senior Constable Neil Roberts said Horsham officers led by Detective Sergeant Crick searched the property on Wavell Street.
He said they found 300 cannabis plants being grown hydroponically inside.
"Hamilton CIU detectives arrested two men earlier that day, and on Saturday police were able to cut off electricity to the Horsham house. The electricity was being stolen by bypassing the meter," Detective Senior Constable Roberts said.
"People need to be aware there is an organised crime syndicate purchasing residential homes throughout Western Victoria and possibly elsewhere and turning them into hydroponic cannabis plantations.
"In the past 12 months investigators have searched homes in Great Western, Ararat, Dimboola, Stawell and Dadswells Bridge. It's ongoing what has been occurring. People need to be alert in relation to unusual neighbourly activity."
Detective Senior Constable Roberts said charges relating to the Horsham discovery were pending.
He said the two men were remanded in custody to appear at Warrnambool Magistrates Court on Monday, charged with possessing and trafficking cannabis in relation to a separate incident in Hamilton.
READ MORE: Police seize vehicle after Dooen Road fatal
Hoa Le, 45 did not apply for bail, entered guilty pleas to both offences and was remanded in custody until May 11.
Phuong Van Tran, 44, made an unsuccessful bail application and was remanded in custody until that same date.
Detective Senior Constable Nick Roberts, of the Hamilton police crime investigation unit, told the court officers searched an address in Hamilton at 8.30am Friday.
He said a photograph on one of the men's phones led to the Horsham search.
Detective Sergeant Mark James, of the Hamilton CIU, told the Warrnambool Standard: "We believe it's linked to Melbourne-based organised crime. It's a commercial operation."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.