Man questioned after €500,000 cannabis growhouse find

Officers find more than 600 cannabis plants with potential street value of €500,000

Officers in West Cork found more than 600 cannabis plants, including a significant number that had reached maturity and were ready for harvesting - with the entire crop having a potential street value of €500,000.

Officers in West Cork found more than 600 cannabis plants, including a significant number that had reached maturity and were ready for harvesting - with the entire crop having a potential street value of €500,000.

Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 10:08

Gardaí in West Cork are questioning a man in connection with the seizure of drugs worth €500,000 at a cannabis growhouse in the Macroom area.

Officers from the West Cork Divisional Drugs Squad, the Kerry Divisional Drugs Unit and the Macroom District Drugs Squad raided an isolated house near Tarelton, 13km south of Macroom, at about 10pm last night.

Officers found more than 600 cannabis plants in a shed at the back of a house. The plants including a significant number that had reached maturity and were ready for harvesting - with the entire crop having a potential street value of €500,000.

Gardaí described the operation as highly sophisticated, with the house equipped with lighting and hydroponic systems to bring the plants to maturity over a three-month period.

Detectives arrested a 30-year-old man, believed to be Slovakian, at the house and brought him to Bandon Garda station for questioning.

He was arrested under anti-drug trafficking legislation which allows gardaí to detain suspects for up to seven days before they have to be charged or released.

Gardaí say the seizure is the biggest such operation uncovered by officers in West Cork this year and described it as as “a significant blow” to drug dealing in the area.

In an unrelated operation, gardaí from Baillincollig arrested a 48-year-old Irishman for questioning following a €35,000 drug seizure yesterday evening.

Officers discovered 5kg of cannabis resin when they stopped and searched a car in the Greenhills area of Ballincollig at about 4pm and arrested the driver.

The man was brought to Gurranebraher Garda station for questioning regarding the drugs which, gardaí believe, were destined for the local Cork market.

The Cork man was detained under drugs trafficking legislation which allows gardaí to detain suspects for up to seven days.