Suspiciously big compost deliveries to U.K. farm unearth cannabis find worth £6 million a year

“We had gained intelligence on the property after we had been told about an excess amount of compost being delivered to the property"

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Compost, locked gate and guard dogs combine to launch raid at illicit cannabis farm Ratikova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

An illicit, commercial cannabis farm in the U.K. with an estimated annual yield of £6 million was raided by police after deliveries of massive quantities of compost tipped off authorities to its presence.

Located in Union Lane in the village of Kingsclere, Hampshire, the plants were concealed in a barn on a property on the outskirts of town.

Officers arrived at the site at 8:50 am to the sound of barking guard dogs. “You can smell it from the roadside,” the Basingstoke Gazette reports an officer saying upon arrival.

“This is the biggest cannabis farm I have ever seen during a bust,” said Sergeant Carl Holmes, who supervised the search. “When you get intelligence, you get a hunch of what to expect, but I don’t think any of the officers here today expected anything on this scale.”

Hampshire Police constable Simon Denton explained the circumstances that led to the raid.

“We had gained intelligence on the property after we had been told about an excess amount of compost being delivered to the property, which is not necessarily cause for concern for a farm,” Denton said.  “However, we soon heard that part of the property had been closed off behind a gate, which was being guarded by dogs, which raises a few flags.”

Five men between the ages of 20 and 56 were arrested in connection with the grow, but all have been released pending further investigation, authorities report.

Police began dismantling the farm on Monday. Approximately £1.5 million in cannabis was seized, along with two crossbows.

Massive cannabis farm aside, Kingsclere is known as home to more than 100 structures listed as special or of historic or architectural interest by Historic England.

 

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