Back in March 2016, a farm in Brackenhurst, near Burton on Trent was raided by the police. They had a suspicion that drug-related activity was going on at the farm and what they found during the raid amazed even them.
During the search of the fame, the cops found a significant amount of ‘skunk’ cannabis, thousands of pounds in cash, and a series of secret rooms which were hidden in among bails of hay.
The search led to the seizure of hundreds of thousands of pounds of drugs and the arrest of three men connected to the operation.
Forensic scientists estimated that the plants seized had the capacity to produce 60.5kgs of ‘skunk’ cannabis a year which equates to a street value of £432,142.
The prosecutor in the trial, Nicholas Tatlow said considerable effort had been made in setting up the factory with hydroponic systems hidden in among the hay barns.
“A tractor was needed to remove the bales to reveal the entrance to the numerous growing and drying rooms. It was a professional operation designed to create significant profits,” Mr Tatlow said, according to the Birmingham Mail.
“The factory spanned across numerous rooms within three barns at the farm. These rooms were used to produce and prepare the cannabis. There were also rooms containing seedlings, young plants and fully grown plants ready for harvest, with additional rooms for drying the vegetation and preparation areas for producing ‘skunk’ and weighing out deals.”
The ring leader had been a tenant at the farm since 2009 paying £28,000 a year rent and was running a business breeding shire horses.
After the sentencing, Chief Inspector Rob Neeson from Staffordshire Police , said a cannabis factory with as much scale and sophistication as this, was “very unusual”.
“This carefully selected idyllic rural spot was exploited by the defendants and there is no doubt that this set-up was a professional operation, designed to generate a significant profit by selling drugs,” he said.
The ring-leader of the operation was jailed for 3 years.