For peat’s sake! Cops’ cannabis soil on offer

Sgt Andy Berryman with 150 bags of compost confiscated from a cannabis grower, that are being given back to the community.

Sgt Andy Berryman with 150 bags of compost confiscated from a cannabis grower, that are being given back to the community.

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POLICE want to dish the dirt – after seizing nearly £2,000 worth of top-quality fertiliser from a major cannabis factory.

Officers confiscated about 150 bags of soil from a former bakery on Dolly Lane near Leeds city centre that was being used to manufacture the plants.

Four people were arrested and £20,000 of growing equipment was seized after the raid.

Usually any materials used in cannabis production would be destroyed following the completion of the investigation.

But Sgt Andy Berriman, of Leeds City Neighbourhood Policing Team, has taken the unusual step of stockpiling the soil – worth £12 a bag – at the team’s headquarters at Millgarth Police Station.

He is now calling on charities and community groups to get in touch if they want to lay claim to any of the sacks.

“I just couldn’t bring myself to chuck it in a skip,” he said.

“It’s great quality stuff and it would be really good if we could give it away to some groups who could use it.”

The give-away follows the discovery in May of what appeared to be a major growing operation.

Mounted police initially stopped a vehicle to talk to a group of men who were acting suspiciously.

The men ran off before entering the old bakery on Dolly Lane – leading officers right to the site of the cannabis farm.

When police got into the building there were only remnants of plants – but enough evidence to show them that it was being used as a sophisticated growing operation.

Sgt Berriman added: “It had all the makings of a cannabis factory – a professional set-up with all the equipment, walls blacked out and lined with foil.

“It appeared as though there had been one recent crop and it was ready for another.”

Four people, one from Malaysia and three from China, were arrested and two cars – a BMW and a Mercedes – were confiscated as part of the investigation.

Deportation proceedings have been launched against all four suspects.

Anyone interested in the fertiliser should contact Sgt Berriman on 0113 2413065 or by e-mailing ab2000@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

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