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Drug valued at 87k seized

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 24, 2013

By Leslie Jackson

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CANNABIS plants worth an estimated £87,000 have been seized after a raid on a terraced house in Leek.Police swooped on the property in John Street last Thursday morning (December 19) after residents raised concerns.

Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Unit at Leek executed a search warrant issued under the Misuse of Drugs Act to search the terraced house.

On entering the property it was found the premises were being used for growing more than 300 cannabis plants.

Five rooms in the house had specialist equipment installed for the growing of the plants.

The plants were seized and removed by officers, along with equipment, which filled a large van twice.

Officers this week estimated the value of the large numbers of plants to be approximately £87,000.

A man who was found in the house during the raid last Thursday, just before 9am, was arrested and has since been charged with offences relating to the production of illegal drugs.

Sergeant Laurence Bagguley of Leek Police Station, said: “It is always satisfying to remove illegal drugs from circulation and to disrupt this type of criminal activity.

“But what I am particularly pleased about in this case is that this resulted from a neighbourhood officer being contacted about concerns from residents.

“This is a great example of locally based officers being able to do what matters to local communities.

“While I was in John Street on Thursday I was approached by people who said that they had had a ‘gut feeling’ that something was not quite right about this house.

“It is an ideal time to give people an idea of what to look for which might indicate that a property is being used for illegal drug production.

“Some tell-tale signs include a smell of herbal vegetation; the constant sound of electric powered fans; and condensation on windows, which will be more than on neighbouring houses.”

Sergeant Bagguley said that adjoining properties may also see condensation on their own walls, especially in cool areas such as the loft. Also, occupants who only seem to visit properties for short times can indicate that something unusual could be going on.

Leek Town mayor John Fisher this week congratulated the police and members of the public in helping to take such a large quantity of drugs off the street.

He said: “The police and local community must be congratulated in locating this cannabis ‘factory’.

“It is obviously better these drugs are taken off the street. This is now what has happened.”

Anyone with any concerns about unusual activities being carried at any property is urged to contact their local police to discuss the matter.

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