Former Northumbria PC admits cannabis in Calthwaite near Penrith. to grow

A former police officer ran a “professional” cannabis factory, protected by strategically placed weapons, from his village house near a school.

David Allen, 68, was caught after police received reports of a strong odor of the illegal drug from a farm 100 meters from an elementary school in Calthwaite, near Penrith.

Detectives went to the small business on July 20 last year and discovered that Allen – a former PC who was part of the Northumbria Force in the 1990s – was involved in the “continuous commercial production of cannabis on the property.”

A search found a “professional grow” of 80 plants with high-end equipment that maximizes yield. The systems were nearing their full maturity and were housed in a completely isolated room with sophisticated timed lights, heaters, and a working industrial ventilation system. There was also a large drying area with a large, insulated tent, drying racks and vacuum packaging machines, and empty fertilizer bins.

It has been estimated that seven harvests could have been produced over a 140 week period, potentially yielding 42kg of cannabis with a possible wholesale value of up to £ 336,000.

Prosecutor Alaric Walmsley told Carlisle Crown Court (TUES) yesterday: “A search of the defendant’s farmhouse revealed additional equipment and packaging for the cannabis; Notes and manuals on growing cannabis and operating the machines; Cash register; and weapons – knives, a crossbow, and air rifles in strategic positions ready to protect the cannabis farm. ”

One detective described the operation as “one of the most carefully designed and sophisticated facilities he had ever seen.”

After his release during the police investigation, Allen reportedly “made arrangements to leave the country,” telling a real estate agent in November that he would “pack up” and “retire in the sunshine,” mentioning and suggesting “Asia.” : he would not come back.

“In addition, a financial investigation into the defendant’s personal and business accounts revealed unresolved cash deposits totaling over £ 425,000, along with regular money transfers to a woman in the Philippines,” added Mr. Walmsley. Two passports Allen had given the police had different dates of birth.

He was arrested, taken into custody, and admitted to both cannabis production and criminal cash possession.

After hearing the opening of the case, the judge, Miss Recorder Kate Bex QC, adjourned the case so Allen’s attorney could fully prepare his filings overnight. The hearing is due to restart and close today.

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