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Sniffer dog leads police to £500,000 drugs farm

February 15, 2013, 4:49 pm

Drugs police have uncovered a cannabis factory worth more than half a million pounds after a sniffer dog led officers to an industrial unit in West Bromwich.

Local patrols were alerted to suspicious activity around the Queens Court estate, off Greets Green Road, in the early hours of yesterday morning (Feb 14).

A man was detained on a nearby canal towpath and found with several cannabis plants stuffed inside plastic bags – and when a police dog tracked away from the arrest scene it directed officers to a cold storage unit converted into a drugs farm.

West Midlands Polices specialist Cannabis Disposal Team – which recently cleared its 1,000th illegal factory after being set-up in 2011 – has estimated the premises contained around 1,200 plants with a street value in excess of half a million pounds.

Disposal Team Manager Mike Hall, said: “This is cannabis production on a commercial scale and undoubtedly linked to organised crime. Some people may claim cannabis cultivation is victimless – but drugs supply is linked to wider criminality and tends to attract an undesirable into communities and an increase in acquisitive crimes like burglary.

“Our communities are continually telling us that drug supply and dealing is a concern and asking us to prioritise tackling the issue – were responding to those worries, acting on local intelligence, and shutting down more and more drugs production facilities.

“The owner of this unit is facing a large repair bill due to damage caused whilst converting it – Id urge all landlords, both commercial and residential, to make appropriate checks on their properties to ensure theyre not being used for criminal activity.”

A 29-year-old local man has since been charged with drugs possession and carrying a knife in public; he will appear at Warley Magistrates Court on 28 February.

There are many tell tale signs that a property is being used to grow drugs.

These include:

• The distinctive leafy aroma of cannabis
• Blacked out windows or curtains always closed
• Bright lights coming from a property
• A constant low humming noise
• Ducting tubes protruding out of windows or under the eaves
• Lots of people visiting at all hours of the day, often for short periods

Anyone with information or suspicions about drug supply in their community is urged to call West Midlands Police on the 101 number or alternatively call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Contact Crimestoppers anonymously with information about crime

101 – The police non-emergency number

101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – when it’s less urgent than a 999 call.
Find out more information about 101 by following this link.

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