UK: Media Outlet The Chronicle Rounds Up Some Of The Weed Busts Over the Past 12 Months In The NE Of England

From attics to warehouses and even in disused pubs, cannabis farms have been found in some remarkable places over the last 12 months.

Police officers have seized hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cannabis from the sites over the past year.

The men were arrested as part of Operation Venetic, this country’s most significant crackdown on serious crime, and will appear in court in October.

In June, Adi Doda, 25, of no fixed abode pleaded guilty to one charge of producing a class B drug after cannabis plants were found inside the Railway Hotel in Rothbury.

The Rothbury pub closed in 2018 and stood empty ever since, but an electricity company raised concerns about the level of power usage.

The Railway Hotel in Rothbury
The Railway Hotel in Rothbury (Image: Rightmove)

Around 298 cannabis plants, with a street value of between £28,000 to £190,000, depending on their yield, were discovered.

Magistrates deemed that their powers to finalise the case were insufficient and committed Doda, who is from Albania and spoke through in interpreter, to Newcastle Crown Court.

Northumbria Police officers found a cannabis farm at a property on Gateshead High Street
Northumbria Police officers found a cannabis farm at a property on Gateshead High Street (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

In May, police found a cannabis farm on Gateshead High Street after noticing a strong smell coming from a property. Upon searching the property, they found 90 cannabis plants and that the electricity supply had been bypassed.

The farm was dismantled and police said the plants would be destroyed.

Anyone with information about the farm is being urged to contact officers.

The aftermath of a house fire on Marlow Street in Blyth
The aftermath of a house fire on Marlow Street in Blyth (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

In April, police confirmed a cannabis farm was found inside a Northumberland home which was devastated by a huge blaze.

Firefighters spent six hours at the house on Marlow Street in Blyth. Again, the electricity had been bypassed.

The drugs were seized and police launched an inquiry into the situation.

Police raid in Gateshead with a cannabis farm discovered
Police raid in Gateshead with a cannabis farm discovered (Image: Northumbria Police)

Also in April, six men were arrested after Northumbria Police officers forced their way into 24 homes in Gateshead in a series of raids as part of a national operation to tackle organised crime.

The investigation identified a network of suspected drug dealers believed to be responsible for building large-scale cannabis farms.

A cannabis farm worth more than £1 million which was uncovered in Newcastle warehouse
A cannabis farm worth more than £1 million which was uncovered in Newcastle warehouse

The largest farm uncovered by police was found in March. A Newcastle warehouse played host to £1m worth of cannabis in a farm the size of a football pitch.

Almost 1,500 plants were being cultivated over two floors at the site on Brunswick Industrial Estate. Anyone who may be able to assist police for information is asked to get in touch.

Police discovered the cannabis farm with 50 plants in Wallsend (Image: Northumbria Police)

In February, officers found 50 mature cannabis plants being grown at a property on Frank Street in Wallsend. Again, the electricity had been dangerously bypassed.

The plants were seized after police spotted the house which suspiciously had no snow on the roof, suggesting a strong heat presence inside the property.

A 28-year-old male was interviewed and reported for cultivating cannabis.

Bypassing electricity is dangerous as it can cause serious fires – in June, emergency services were called to Croydon Road in Arthur’s Hill, Newcastle to reports of a housefire.

A blaze broke out at a property on Croydon Road in Arthur’s Hill

Northumbria Police confirmed that a cannabis farm was discovered inside the address following the blaze.

It is believed that the fire was caused by an electrical fault as electricity had been bypassed at the address.

Also in February, a gang of suspected drug dealers were snared by police after a £100,000 cannabis farm was uncovered by police.

Eight men were arrested during raids in Elswick after detectives at Northumbria Police received intelligence about suspicious behaviour at the address.

It had been reported that large numbers of people had been coming in and out of the properties but nobody seemed to live there.


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