Three charged as £1m cannabis factory found in Ellesmere Port A CANNABIS factory potentially yielding more than a £1m crop was uncovered by police in Ellesmere Port.
Officers discovered 14 secret shipping containers stuffed with the illegal plants on Tuesday evening.
The intelligence-led operation brought police to industrial premises on North Road where they waited to carry out observations.
Two men were spotted leaving the large unit and were arrested by undercover officers.
One allegedly dropped an A4-sized package of drugs on the ground along with a substantial amount of cash which was recovered.
A third man later returned to the scene and was also detained.
Police walked through the reception and workshop areas of the factory and discovered a hidden door.
It led to what police described as a “network” of shipping containers housing a sophisticated growing operation.
Detectives said the drugs plot was inside a business premises rented out by the factory owner.
The containers had built-in water systems, fans and lights, the hallmarks of an elaborate and well co-ordinated plan, police added.
Drying and grinding equipment on a industrial scale were also seized demonstrating an operation from germination to harvest.
Compost was being delivered in large pallet amounts, investigators found.
Detective Inspector Andy Marshall told the ECHO: “It’s clear there had been a number of harvests which could indicate an operation of anything beyond 12 weeks.
“This was a significant discovery by the force.”
Karl Humphries, 44, of Thelwall Road, Great Sutton, Paul Farnworth, 39, of Overpool Road and Gary Wynne, 54, of Delamere Drive, Great Sutton were charged.
They appeared before magistrates yesterday accused of conspiracy to supply controlled drugs.
Wynne was bailed while the other two men have been remanded in custody.
Cheshire Police are currently in the process of dismantling the cannabis farm.
Because of its size and complexity, the removal of the cannabis factory could take up to two days. THE ECHO