A raid on a warehouse in Kirkby today led to the biggest cannabis bust the area has seen in three decades, estimated to be worth over £1 million.
Acting on intelligence, police executed a warrant to search the premises on Lowmoor Business Park’s Unity Road this morning, and found 2,000 plants growing in a highly-sophisticated operation, along with huge quantities of lighting and heating equipment and fertiliser.
Inspector Glenn Longden, of the Ashfield North policing team, said the discovery was the biggest he had ever known in 25 years on the force.
He said: “It’s a huge find for us in this area, and this will really put a dent into an organised crime gang’s revenue-making capability here.
“We are looking to get to the top of that tree to find who would benefit from that grow.
“There are over 2,000 fully-grown plants, the sheer size of the industrial unit indicates the complexity of the operation.
“I’m interested in who has masterminded this, a gang could have made a tremendous amount of money from this.
“People need to realise it’s not a victimless crime, people are being forced to work in this industry, and its a gateway for younger people to get into drugs.
“You can see the heartache it can bring to the community.”
The police descended on the unit this morning, but said they did not need to force entry into the building after discovering a person inside, who was arrested and taken into custody.
Police would not say if the person was male or female.
The grow was spread across nine separate areas and over two floors of the old warehouse.
Officers from Nottinghamshire Police headquarters were drafted in to help clear away the plants and equipment, along with forensic workers and CID.
Insp Longden said the information came from ‘community intelligence’.
He added: “I can’t thank whoever made this anonymous phone call enough, so we could successfully obtain a warrant.”
Workers from neighbouring units looked on as a number of police vans arrived at the site this morning.
Anthony Atkinson, who works at a plastics recycling business next door, said: “This is the second time it’s happened, it was raided last year.
“There were a couple of guys looking round earlier this year and they told me they were checking security. Since then I’ve not seen anyone, apart from a couple of vans dropping pallets off.
“There’s a bloke who comes here every week and here’s been saying to me that somebody was growing around here because he could smell it, he’s been saying it for three of four weeks!
“When they opened it up I knew what it was straight away.”