Police Tipped Off About Cannabis Factory By Local Pedestrians
A £1million cannabis factory has been raided after passers-by were overpowered by the smell. Police found 1,400 plants on three floors after tip offs from the public, who raised the alarm because of the strong odour from the disused Lancashire mill. Insp Paul Leigh, from Nelson Police, said that the site was formally a cash and carry but recently it had been taken over by organised criminals and could potentially put lives at risk. He said: 'This was a sophisticated and professional set up and one of the largest we have ever seen in the division. 'These factories are set up by organised criminals and not only perpetrate the large scale supply of illicit drugs but also commit significant environmental damage. 'United Utilities have estimated the electricity abstracted on a set up of this scale would be in the region of £30,000.
'Members of the public told us there was a strong smell coming from the building.
'Supported by other information, we executed a warrant. 'The building is a significant fire risk and could have put people's lives at risk. 'Organised criminals have started to move into this area, there is massive financial gain for them and we are seeing an increase in it. 'But it is something that we are determined to tackle.' As well as the cannabis, officers also seized lighting and heating equipment used to cultivate the plants. A second address in Edith Street, believed to be linked to the factory, was also raided, although nobody has so far been arrested.
Forensic experts have been gathering evidence from the scene and continue to investigate the drugs seized, Police officers are also now looking into who the owner of the building is as he may well be needed for questioning. Insp Leigh added: 'The quantity of drugs found would suggest that they were destined not just for the streets of Nelson and Pendle but probably across the whole of East Lancashire. 'An investigation is now under way to identify the people responsible and I urge anyone with information to come forward.'
The raid, which happened on Monday morning, follows a number of other major seizures in the past 12 months. Last June officers discovered 1,700 plants growing at a business premises in Gate Street, Accrington. Four hundred plants were discovered last May at a house in Royds Avenue, Accrington. In 2009 more than 1,300 plants were discovered at a house in Nelson and The Duke of York pub, in Burnley. Coun Eileen Ansar, who represents the Cloverhill ward on Pendle Council, said the premises were last used by a cash and carry business but had remained empty for some time.
Â£7m Worth Of Cannabis Found In Lorry
Northamptonshire’s Organised Crime Unit seized more than £7 million worth of cannabis from a lorry delivering to a distribution warehouse in the Corby area. The load was found within a large shipment of assorted goods which was destined for various outlets all over the UK, having been shipped to Tilbury Docks from Cuba via Jamaica. The truck was stopped in the county a little while after leaving the holding depot at Dirft in Daventry. The pallets of goods had been loaded as normal but there was still loose boxes on top of the pallets containing Cannabis.
The container was home to roughly 44 boxes of Marijuana weighing in about 1,307kg with a street value of about £7 million. The container was also carrying a brown liquid which officials belive to be a cannabis oil commonly used to make hashish, The oils weighing in roughly 10kg and also has a street value of about £150,000. Detective Chief Inspector Tom Davies, of the Organised Crime Unit, said: “Enquiries were made internationally with other law enforcement agencies and these are continuing. “We are looking to arrest a man in connection with this seizure and we maintain an open mind as to the eventual destination of this drugs consignment, but don’t believe at this time it was intended for Northamptonshire. “However, the re-assurance is that this is a very significant recovery of drugs nationally and demonstrates the level of organisation now being used by criminal groups. “Northamptonshire Police will continue to tackle organised criminality effectively.”
Fourth Amendment before U.S. Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Police smelling marijuana coming from behind an apartment door can enter the home without a warrant in some instances, some U.S. Supreme Court Justices said.
The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday heard arguments that could have Fourth Amendment implications, The Washington Post reported.
The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Hollis King, saying police didn't have the right to kick his door down after smelling marijuana coming from the apartment.
Police had announced their presence, and when they heard flushing sounds decided evidence was being destroyed and entered the apartment.
The case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. Justice Elena Kagan found some problems with the King case.
"One of the points of the Fourth Amendment is to ensure that when people search your home, they have a warrant, and of course there are exceptions to that," Kagan said.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also found problems with the Kentucky search.
"They (could) go to the apartment building and ... sniff at every door," Ginsburg proposed, to find cause to search.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor also had issues with the case. She said in many instances police could enter without a warrant if they thought drugs were being used on the other side because police could always say they feared the evidence would be destroyed.
Justice Antonin Scalia said police did nothing wrong in the Kentucky case.
"Everything done was perfectly lawful," Scalia said. "It's unfair to the criminal? Is that the problem? I really don't understand the problem."
Scalia said law enforcement has many constraints "and the one thing that it has going for it is that criminals are stupid."
Bradford Cannabis Raid Finds Guinea Pig Heater
Police swooped on a suspected cannabis factory at a house in Bradford f only to find the suspicious heat source was for two guinea pigs. Officers arrived last week after the West Yorkshire Police helicopter detected a hotspot on the roof of the garage in Huddersfield Road, Odsal. A hotspot is often a sign of specialist heating systems used to grow cannabis. Police have apologised for any distress the raid caused to the guinea pigs' owner, 42-year-old Pam Hardcastle. Mrs Hardcastle, a learning mentor at Bradford Moor primary school, said: "On Wednesday I'd gone to work and got a call from my mum who said you need to come home. "The police came on the phone and said: 'We think you're growing cannabis in your garage. "I said: 'No, it's a heater to keep my guinea pigs warm because it's been so cold. "I went home and there were two policemen who came in the house with me and I've got a big picture of Bob Marley with cannabis growing behind him so I thought: 'Oh my God, don't turn round'."
'Unfortunate it was me' Mrs Hardcastle said that despite the embarrassment the incident had caused, she did not criticise the police. "I think the police do a really good job and I do understand why they did it," she said. "It 's just unfortunate it was me." Insp Darren Brown, of the Queensbury, Royds and Wibsey neighbourhood policing team, said: "A majority of operations of this nature are intelligence-based and often rely upon swift action.
"Due to the location of the garage, we could not make further observations without alerting the occupants. "On this occasion, it transpired that the significant heat source coming from the property was not connected to the production of cannabis. "Officers who attended explained the full circumstances to the occupant and discussed any damage. "I would like to apologise for the distress this may have caused. "However, I would point out that these tactics are essential in tackling drugs across the district." He reassured Mrs Hardcastle that her details would not be kept on police records.
Lancashire Police Uncover Cannabis in Blackpool
A Cannabis factory with an estimated street value of £14,500 was uncovered by police in a former Blackpool hotel. Officers made the discovery at the property on Kirby Road, previously the Glendene Hotel after a resident reported a strong smell coming from the building. Around 290 plants were discovered in the property, spread out over four bedrooms. Lighting and cultivation equipment was also found. Det Sgt Jane Atkinson from Blackpool CID said: “We discovered this cannabis factory thanks to information we received from a member of the public and this, once again, highlights the importance of the public working with us to pass on information about suspicious activity.
“As a result of this discovery, a substantial amount of cannabis has now been taken off the streets of Blackpool. “We will not tolerate the supply or use of drugs in our communities. We will continue to take robust action against those who are thought to be involved in drugs and I urge residents to pass any suspicions about drugs on to the police.” No arrests have been made in connection with the cannabis factory but officers continue to make enquiries
P For 'Losers' But Cannabis 'Hardly Illegal'
Young people believe the drug methamphetamine, or P, is for "losers" but see little difference between cannabis, ecstasy, tobacco and alcohol, according a survey. The UMR Research work on a small group - about 20 young people aged between 12 and 17 - was carried out for anti-P group the Stellar Trust, and aimed to gain an understanding of young people's attitudes to the drug and identify initiatives that would be most effective in deterring its use amongst NZ youth. It showed media stories about the links to horror crime and health damage were putting young people off the drug, Stellar chief executive Mike Williams said. The survey found party pills had gone out of favour since they became illegal while ecstasy was seen mostly as a party drug used by older teens.
Heroin, cocaine and P were viewed as the most serious drugs and were the least used. Key deterrents to trying P were addictive behaviour, its impact on appearance, the negative profile of users and it was viewed as a heavy duty drug. The teens also knew it could change personality - make you angry, steal, destroy families and a user's appearance. Many of the teens were relaxed about drug use and not affected by the death of 16-year-old King's College student James Webster after he had knocked back a bottle of vodka. His death was seen as a chance to crack down on teens. About half had tried marijuana, which was "hardly viewed as illegal" and was widely available and prevalent in schools.
But despite the dim view of P, the tolerant attitude to cannabis and ecstasy meant they remained gateways to harder drugs, said former detective and managing director of drug education company Methcon Group Dale Kirk. Research clearly showed a link between regular cannabis use and the subsequent use of harder drugs. Regular cannabis users were 60 times more likely to move on to these harder drugs, he said. Mr Kirk said it was worrying but not at all surprising that an attitude of tolerance to cannabis and other drugs remained. "Sadly the romantic notion of cannabis as being a soft drug remains as strong as ever. "This is hardly surprising given the home environment and communities that many young people find themselves growing up in where cannabis is accepted by adult role models as OK and used on a daily basis."
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