Police seize £250k of cannabis plants

PUBLISHED: 11:00 29 June 2013

Cannabis seized from Charlton Road during Operation Jupiter. Photo: Bethan Evans.

Cannabis seized from Charlton Road during Operation Jupiter. Photo: Bethan Evans.

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AROUND £250,000 of cannabis was seized from a house in one of Weston's most exclusive roads.

Cannabis seized from Charlton Road during Operation Jupiter. Photo: Bethan Evans.Cannabis seized from Charlton Road during Operation Jupiter. Photo: Bethan Evans.

Around 600 plants were taken out of a property in Charlton Road on Monday, as part of Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s Operation Jupiter.

The scheme works with Weston’s landlords and tenants to clean-up rented flats and houses and rid them of drug dealers.

Two men, aged 30, have been arrested on suspicion of production of a controlled drug. One is an Albanian national, the other Vietnamese.

One of the men surrendered when police broke through the front door after he had refused to let them in. The other was found hiding in the property’s attic, among a younger batch of plants.

Signs of a cannabis factory:

• Windows permanently covered from the inside

• Visits to the house at unusual times of the day or night

• People visiting just to ‘maintain’ the house

• Daily or weekly calls at the house by people who stay for a short time

• Black bin bags or laundry bags being taken away

• Compost bags or gardening equipment left outside, usually at the back of the house

• Vents protruding through the roof or a rear window

• Strange, pungent smells

• Unusual noises from equipment such as cooling fans

Sergeant Colin Batchelor, from the South Ward neighbourhood police team, said: “This is another example of us taking action in direct response to suspicions reported by members of the community.

“Not only have we stopped two men making around a quarter of a million pounds out of selling drugs on Weston’s streets, we have also dismantled what was a lethal electrical set-up.

“The combination of water, humidity and electricity was a disaster waiting to happen – the people operating cannabis factories like this are bringing with them a massive fire risk.”

The latest successful raid follows a similar one reported in the Mercury last week when a factory containing more than £50,000 worth of plants was discovered and a man in his 60s arrested. This warrant also came about thanks to information given under Operation Jupiter.

Contact your local officer through the police website, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you suspect drug-related activity is going on in your area.

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