Cannabis raids net hundreds of plants

Hundreds of cannabis plants were yesterday seized after police swooped on homes converted into drug factories.

Hundreds of cannabis plants were yesterday seized after police swooped on homes converted into drug factories.

The raids happened at about 8am at addresses in Red Lodge, Worlington, near Mildenhall, and Bury St Edmunds and were the culmination of a painstaking intelligence gathering operation.

An exact value of the drugs seized is as yet unknown but it is thought to be in the tens of thousands of pounds region.

At just one address raided by Suffolk Police, in Abbotsbury Road, Bury, a four bedroom house had been converted into a growing farm. Upstairs, three bedrooms were filled with between 200 and 250 cannabis plants with each room criss-crossed by electric cables, foil ventilation tunnels and sophisticated hydroponic and lighting equipment.

Downstairs there were dozens of plant pots from harvested cannabis plants and a duvet on the floor where the person tending to the crop above is thought to have slept.

At the raid in Red Lodge 50 plants were seized and at Worlington about 300 were found.

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Sgt Steve Aylott said: “This is one of the biggest raids we've had but even this is only a drop in the ocean in terms of the national picture. We've had officers in here seizing and bagging this stuff and another six back at the station going through all the financial details.

“The plants will be analysed to find out the yield, then we'll know the value, so we can't put a figure on it at the moment.

“I spoke to the electrician who came here and he said the electrical bill alone for this house would have been about £6,000 a year.

He said the raids came on the back of a major intelligence gathering operation and that risk assessments were carried out before they went in.

While some raids take place either late at night or at the break of dawn, Suffolk Police moved in on the three properties at 8.30am. Explaining why, Sgt Aylott said: “You can't just flush this lot down the toilet.”

For those living nearby, the operation almost went unnoticed. One member of the public, Sgt Aylott said, thought the police officers involved - most of whom were dressed in protective boiler suits - were there to clear the drains and went as far as asking the police to visit his house when they were finished.

A 39 year old from Bury and 22 year old from Red Lodge were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to produce and supply cannabis.>

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