AN armed and dangerous gang which lived the high life while trafficking drugs around the Costa Blanca is now behind bars.
Eight houses in San Miguel de Salinas, Rojales and Orihuela Costa were raided by Guardia Civil, arresting the group and seizing five marijuana plantations, large amounts of money, designer clothes and high-end vehicles.
Police say hundreds of bottles of vintage champagne were found in fridges, wine-racks and cupboards around the house.
A tip-off from the public first alerted the authorities to a house at San Miguel de Salinas in the Vega Baja region.
Investigations revealed other unoccupied homes in different locations, all large properties secured with fake rental agreements.
All houses had their water and electricity supplies tampered with so the marijuana cultivation could flourish.
The two gang leaders, men aged 23 and 28, installed security systems and CCTV at each location, and even supplied their ‘tenants’ with gyms to keep fit.
Many of the gang were armed and kept dangerous dogs for security.
Also, babies were living at three of the properties which housed over 600 marijuana plants.
In total, nearly 3,000 mature marijuana plants worth €60,000 were seized, as well as €45,000 cash, various doses of cocaine, MDMA and hash oil for the gang’s own consumption.
Additionally, five high-end cars were found, two vans, two jet skis, a boat and numerous expensive watches, all together worth roughly half a million euros.
The gang consisted of 12 men and women from Spain, Cuba and Colombia, aged between 21 and 51.
They are charged with several crimes of drug trafficking, illegal possession of weapons, illegal seizure of housing, falsification of documents, fraud of electricity, damage and belonging to a criminal organisation.
Seven of the group were immediately jailed, with the other five being released with precautionary measures.