Hertfordshire's biggest ever weed factory found in Hemel Hempstead
- Credit: Hertfordshire Constabulary
Hertfordshire's biggest ever cannabis factory has been uncovered by police, with 2,000 plants worth more than £1 million found at a former snooker club.
Officers raided the former club on Henry Wells Square, Hemel Hempstead at around 7am on Wednesday, March 16.
When they entered the building, they found 2,000 cannabis plants inside.
Police believe that they have found the largest cannabis crop in Hertfordshire to date.
The plants are thought to be worth at least £1.3 million.
Ledio Ndreo, 30, and Haziz Dosku, 28 - both of no fixed address - have been charged with being concerned in the production of a controlled class B drug.
The men appeared at Hatfield Magistrates' Court on Thursday, March 17, where they were remanded back into custody.
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The former snooker club on Henry Wells Square is in the Grovehill area of Hemel Hempstead.
Hertfordshire Constabulary officers found that the mains electricity supply had been tampered with to cultivate the plants.
Officers called in UK Power Networks to make the area safe.
Hertfordshire Constabulary's Operational Support Group carried out the raid with support from the Safer Neighbourhoods Team and Operation Scorpion - which targets drug crime.
Sergeant David Perkins, from the force, said that illegal cannabis production can lead to exploitation.
Sergeant Perkins said: "I know some may think the production and selling of cannabis isn’t an issue we should be concerned with, but I say to them - look at the bigger picture.
"The devastating impact of the drugs industry cannot be underestimated, as thousands of vulnerable drug users are exploited every day, unable to escape and improve their lives.
"Those who are addicted to drugs often commit crime to feed their habit, meaning innocent people fall victim to burglaries and robberies."
Sergeant Perkins added: "I hope that residents feel reassured to know that we have shut down this cannabis factory, as not only have we put a stop to this criminal activity but the building itself is now no longer a fire and safety hazard."
He said that members of the public can report their concerns about drug dealing to police online (https://www.herts.police.uk/) or using the non-emergency number on 101.
Alternatively, reports can be made anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.