Belfast Telegraph

Underground cannabis factory first of its kind in Northern Ireland, court told

By ALAN ERWIN

An underground cannabis factory containing £350,000 worth of the drugs is the first of its kind uncovered in Northern Ireland, the High Court has heard.

Police found three purpose-built rooms full of 600 plants following a surveillance operation in Co Down.

Covert video footage, photographs and audio recordings formed part of the investigation which resulted in five men being charged, prosecutors revealed. Details emerged as one of the accused was refused bail. Brendan Rice (48) of Dundrum Road, Newcastle, faces charges of cultivating and possessing cannabis with intent to supply.

He was arrested along with the other suspects when police raided premises on the Derryneill Road, Castlewellan, on May 21.

Keys found on him were said to be for the shutter on a shed complex which housed the cannabis growing operation.

Cars worth around £100,000 were also seized in the police swoop.

Belfast Telegraph

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