Pubdate: Fri, 28 Feb 2003
Source: Eastern Daily Press (UK)
Copyright: 2003, Archant Regional


A suspected cannabis plantation, thought to be one of the biggest found in
Norfolk, has been uncovered by police acting on information from a separate

The plantation, which used 'hydroponic' growing techniques such as
high-power lamps, ventilation and metal-foil insulation, was found at Hill
Farm, Sporle, near Swaffham.

Officers who raided the chicken farm on Thursday morning found a total of
890 plants believed to be the high-strength 'skunk' variety with a street
value of UKP100,000. The equipment used to grow them is believed to be worth
several thousand pounds alone.

Samples of the plants were taken for analysis after the operation, which
involved four scenes-of-crime investigators, five detectives and two
uniformed officers.

Det Sgt Tom Neill, of Dereham CID, said: "The operation is one of the
biggest ever found in the county. It is certainly the biggest I have ever

The suspected plantation, in a barn about 50ft long, had been separated into
cultivation and preparation areas.

With the growth cycle of the plants lasting about eight weeks, it could
produce drugs worth several hundred thousand pounds a year.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of producing and cultivating cannabis.
He has been released on bail pending the outcome of tests on plant samples
and is due to reappear at Dereham police station in six weeks.
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