There follows a roundup of cannabis farm news. There’s plenty of it. Lancashire Police lamented that in the borough of Hyndburn, a cannabis farm is discovered every six days – 58 were discovered in 2014/15, compared to 29 the year before, with 25 of them in terraced houses a la Coronation Street. A spokesman declared that he believed the reason was these “austere” economic times causing greater demand that people found it profitable to satisfy.
Most busts resulted from tip-offs from members of the public. One indication is that, as Councillor Tony Dobson explained, there would be half-a-dozen visitors betwixt 18:00 and 20:00 who would only stay for 20 seconds. The strong smell and lighting and heating equipment are other giveaways. The spokesman added, “Cannabis can have lasting physical and mental health effects on users.” That’s physical effects like curing cancer and mental effects like alleviatiing depression.
A 29-year-old man and 22-year-old woman were busted after firefighters were called to St Martins Grove, Midway Avenue in Bridlington at 23:48 on 7 October when the heating equipment for their cannabis farm caused a fire in a bedroom. A 34-year-old man in Bishopstone, Milton Keynes was arrested after officers came to his residence to investigate a house fire that occurred in the property’s loft, where there turned out to be a cannabis factory.
Curtis Adams realised his cannabis habit was costing him thousands of pounds a year and so elected to grow his own. When police attended his address to investigate a possible domestic incident on July 17 2015, while there was no evidence of wifebeating there was a single cannabis plant in a bedroom cupboard. This was a week before Curtis would have undertaken a harvest. And a month after his conviction for possession. One mitigating factor was that the drug was for his own use. He coughed up a fine of £200, £180 of court charges, £85 of prosecution costs and a £20 victim surcharge for this victimless crime.
32-year-old Paul Rodgets had a cannabis farm worth up to £7,560 in the bedroom of his baby at Cherry Avenue, Welbeck Estate, Hucknall, Nottinghamshire. He claimed he grew cannabis to pay money he owed for heroin, and he would otherwise have been subjected to violence. There were nine cannabis plants in a grow tent with a lighting system and a fan – what the prosecutor called “specialised equipment.”
Just to show you how easy it is, Thomas John Rees, 27, of Llanelli, Dyfed, Wales grew 28 cannabis plants despite possessing very little gardening knowledge. He obtained seeds and information on how to grow them online. Police arrived after reports of a disturbance on Swansea Road on June 11. He was convicted of growing cannabis and stealing electricity. The plants were only a few inches high, but could have been worth as much as £6,000 upon maturity. He was sentenced to 180 hours of unpaid toil, £180 court costs, a £60 surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.
One copper exclaimed that he had happened upon “some of the largest plants and longest roots he had ever seen in his policing career” in the garden shed of 48-year-old Antony McClarence in Bolton, Manchester. McClarence was ordered to fork out £29,980 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He also received a 12-month gaol sentence suspended for 18 months and was instructed to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.
The eight plants were mostly for McClarence’s personal use, although he would have sold some to finance production. Smoking it all himself would have taken 67 weeks. The street value would have been £6,720. The health problems he suffered included arthritis, and his GP had informed him that cannabis could be used as pain relief, although, regrettably, this is no defence for running a cannabis farm. One tip for growing plants that impress the filth is to mix river silt in with the soil.
This week’s oldest cannabis farm-owning VICIOUS CRIMINAL was a 68-year-old from the village of Mammari in Nicosia, Cyprus. He owns a field and two houses in the vicinity. 57 cannabis plants were growing and 42 ounces of the end product was recovered.
Cannabis farm waste – although what that is was not revealed, was dumped at Silver Lane, Risley in Warrington, Cheshire days after volunteers had cleared the area. Fines for fly tipping can be as high as £95,000.
The largest haul – worth £800,000 – was at a one-time commercial unit on Stockport Road, Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, Manchester. There were more than 4,000 plants. Le Quang, 37, Le Truong, 30 and Long Van Nguyen, 29, all of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to production of cannabis. Each was sentence to three years and six months of chokey, after which they will be deported under section 32 of the UK Borders Act.