POLICE in Blackburn recently stopped a large-scale cannabis factory in the town.
Information from the local community alerted the police to a potential cannabis set-up at an address on Shear Brow. When police then executed a warrant at the address on Sunday 29 December, they discovered and seized around five hundred mature cannabis plants. Forensic tests are still to be done on the plants, but officers believe the plants have a potential street value of several hundred thousand pounds.
Tam Nguyen, 19, of no fixed address, was arrested at the address on Shear Brow on Sunday, and has subsequently been charged with production of a controlled Class B drug. Nguyen entered no plea when he made his first appearance at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Monday 30 December), and will now stand trial at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday 15 January 2014. Nguyen has been remanded in custody until that date.
Detective Inspector Eric Halford of Blackburn CID said “This is a significant find, and goes to show these set-ups are organised, sophisticated and being run by people who have organised crime links regionally, nationally and even internationally.
“The crime they generate not just through drug misuse, but other crime, such as theft and burglary, to feed cannabis addiction is also significant, and we hope this seizure will put a dent in the supply chain.
“These set-ups take hold in our communities regularly, and this find goes to show the importance of the public telling us when they have suspicions about crime being committed in their community. As such, I would urge more people to come forward and provide information if you have any worries that organised criminals are operating in your area.”