Police uncover £2million cannabis farm the size of a football pitch
A quick-thinking copper has sniffed out a massive cannabis farm.
The farm – the size of a football pitch – was uncovered thanks to the nose of Community Support Officer Martin Jobling.
The huge farm was uncovered on Thursday morning after CSO Jobling was on patrol at the Valentine’s Funfair on Team Valley and noticed a strong smell of cannabis.
Acting Inspector Warren Sturrock joined him at the scene and together they were able to identify the warehouse in question, where they discovered the huge drug haul of 3,000 plants.
Three foreign nationals were subsequently arrested on suspicion of producing a Class B drug with intent to supply.
Officers believe the yield of each individual plant has a street value of about £660, meaning the total street value of the factory could be as much as £2million.
A criminal investigation has now been launched by Northumbria Police that will be supported by Immigration Enforcement.
Acting Insp Sturrock said that farm was clearly part of a sophisticated operation.
He said: “This is a sophisticated drug supply operation that may have seen millions of pounds worth of cannabis supplied to dealers across our region.
“This seizure will have put a huge dent in the pockets of the organised crime group responsible but we will not stop here and a criminal investigation is well underway.
“We have arrested three suspected cannabis farmers at the factory and we are now working to establish who is involved in this sophisticated operation.
“This is clearly not a small cannabis farm to help give someone pain relief, this is an industrial-sized farm that is lining the pockets of serious criminals and will not be tolerated.
“I want to praise Martin who acted on his instinct when he smelt cannabis and knew something wasn’t quite right.
“It shows that community policing has an important role to play in the fight against organised crime and that makes me very proud.
Anyone who has information about drug dealing should call police on 101, report it online at the Northumbria Police website or contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.