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Dog walker leads police to uncover one of Norfolk’s biggest ever cannabis factories with 4,000 plants

PUBLISHED: 20:06 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:34 14 April 2018

The plants discovered by police at a cannabis factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

The plants discovered by police at a cannabis factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

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A dog walker following their nose has helped police uncover one of the largest cannabis factories in the county for years.

Cannabis factory near Felthorpe. Picture: ANTONY KELLYCannabis factory near Felthorpe. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

They had been walking by an abandoned garden centre on Holt Road in Felthorpe when they recognised the smell of cannabis.

But rather than ignoring it and walking by, they led officers to a “highly professional” factory of around 4,000 cannabis plants.

Cannabis plants at factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.Cannabis plants at factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

They were being grown in a number of old sheds and greenhouses - siphoning off electricity in the process - which raised the suspicions of the landowner.

Chief Inspector Wes Hornigold said when officers arrived the plot was “empty of people”, but revealed a highly professional operation

Cannabis plants at factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.Cannabis plants at factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

“We are in the process of doing our forensic work at the site and recovering the plants,” he said. “There is living quarters there and a toilet there so it is a very professional set up.

“The landowner had some suspicions about some electricity bills that were higher than expected, and we got intelligence from a dog walker about the smell of cannabis - and we found what we found.

Cannabis plants at factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.Cannabis plants at factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

“It was generated from a person smelling cannabis to finding one of the largest cannabis factories we have seen for some time.”

While it is not yet possible to put a price on the amount of cannabis found, CID are investigating the find and police are expected to be at the site until at least Monday before the set up is dismantled.

Cannabis plants at factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.Cannabis plants at factory in Felthorpe. Picture Norfolk Constabulary.

“We have plants in varying degrees of maturity,” added Chief Insp Hornigold.

“There is a big greenhouse being used to store all the waste and the plants were all in old greenhouses or little sheds. No one has used the site for years and we are going to be doing crime scene investigations for at least three days.

“This discovery should reassure the public that we will act upon concerns from local communities and I would urge anyone who may have any information about suspicious activity in the area over recent weeks to contact police.

“It is a really good example of how we can work on information from the public and get results.”

No arrests have yet been made in connection with the discovery.

Anyone with information should contact Norfolk Police on 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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