Police seize £20k of cannabis in raid

Many cannabis plants were found and two men were arrested
Many cannabis plants were found and two men were arrested
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POLICE seized £20,000 of cannabis in a raid on a drugs factory in Sheffield and arrested two men suspected of growing the plants.

Eight officers, accompanied by The Star, smashed their way into a terraced house on Firth Park Road, Firth Park.

They found two men inside, thought to be Vietnamese, along with 65 plants worth an estimated at £300 each.

The men were arrested on suspicion of cultivating drugs and immigration offences.

Top officers said the operation is evidence that South Yorkshire Police is continuing to work as normal - despite sending a number of officers to help battle rioters in other parts of the country.

Temporary Chief Inspector Simon Leake, acting head of north Sheffield policing, said: “It is business as usual.

“We have a strong force able to carry on our usual activities and protect the Sheffield public.

“We have officers assisting other forces in London, Nottingham and Manchester, but there is adequate policing in Sheffield.”

Forensics officers were last night dismantling thousands of pounds’ worth of drug cultivation equipment on Firth Park Road and going through the house with a fine toothcomb.

Officers from the Burngreave Safer Neighbourhood Team, led by PC Gareth Webb, stormed the house just after 1pm.

Inside they found two bedrooms and a loft stripped down and equipped with state-of-the-art lights, irrigation systems, ventilation shafts and heating gear.

Each room was heated to a sweltering 32 degrees.

The rooms were packed with young plants - but piles of compost, lighting equipment and fertiliser suggested the growers were planning to expand their operation.

A living room, dining room and small kitchen were equipped with minimal furniture - a small television and sofa - with most of the space given over to intensive drug production.

PC Webb said: “We received some information from a member of the public, which was backed up with thermal imaging information from our helicopter.”

South Yorkshire Police has raided more than 200 cannabis factories in Sheffield in the last year, many run by Vietnamese gangs thought to be operating from London.

The gangs often traffic people in to Britain to maintain the plants, forcing them to live in squalid conditions in order to maximise the space available to grow the drugs.

Each drugs factory can produce up to £500,000 worth of cannabis a year.