POLICE have stamped out the largest ever cannabis factory found in Herefordshire worth almost £1 million.
Two men were arrested after the huge cultivation of 2,180 cannabis plants and associated growing equipment was discovered in the former Royal Mail sorting office in Tenbury Road, Bromyard, on Tuesday morning.
A search warrant was executed by West Mercia Police after members of the public reported the strong smell of cannabis at the site in recent weeks.
Officers found many rooms full of plants at various stages of development and two men found at the site were arrested on suspicion of producing cannabis.
They are currently in custody at Hereford Police Station and
Superintendent Ivan Powell, police commander for Herefordshire, said: “This was a massive cannabis factory, one of the biggest ever seen in the region and the largest ever uncovered in Herefordshire.
“A set up of this size would have produced a crop which could have been harvested up to four times a year, each time with a potential yield of nearly £1million.
“It was discovered thanks to members of the public who noticed the strong smell at the old Royal Mail sorting office and took the time and effort to contact the police and tell us what they knew.
“I would like to thank them for their support and encourage anyone else to report suspicious activity in their community to West Mercia Police on the non-emergency number 101, or anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."
Supt Powell added: “We believe this seizure has prevented a large quantity of cannabis, possibly worth several million pounds, ending up on the streets.
"West Mercia Police will take positive action against anyone involved in the production, use and supply of controlled drugs. Cannabis factories often have links to organised crime and the way in which they are set up can be hazardous.
“To power the equipment needed for such a criminal enterprise would have taken large amounts of electricity and they had bypassed the meter to illegally extract power from the mains – this creates a serious risk of fire and the possibility of anyone on the site being electrocuted.
"We had to call in specialist colleagues from Western Power to make the site safe.”