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U.K. officers clean up a bit of crime after finding cannabis in vacuum bags

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Bags plus two rooms full of weed plants discovered at illegal farm

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A police raid this week in the U.K. revealed a two-room illegal cannabis farm and an unidentified number of vacuum bags full of weed.

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According to a tweet from an arm of the Merseyside Police, officers with Operation Pelican attended the property in Bootle, no stranger to illegal grow-ops in recent years, and forced entry on Aug. 30. “During a search, two grow rooms of cannabis were found and vacuum bags of cropped cannabis,” the tweet reports.

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The Liverpool Echo reports that Operation Pelican, launched in 2017, is an ongoing police campaign to combat the drug trade and gang violence in Bootle, Netherton, Litherland and the surrounding areas.

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In July 2021, Merseyside Police reported that since 2019, team members have focused on targeting suspected drug suppliers and supporting victims of criminal exploitation. “We’ve made more than 450 arrests, seized more than £200,000 ($304,000) in cash and seized drugs with an estimated street value of more than £5 million ($7.6 million).”

The illegal grow — recreational cannabis is banned throughout the U.K. with those convicted of cultivating weed punishable by up to 14 years in prison upon conviction — has sparked an ongoing investigation to locate those responsible.

The police have not yet made any arrests related to the farm’s discovery, the Liverpool Echo reports, adding the grow-op has since been dismantled.

Bags for actual vacuums may have proved a better hiding spot for the dried weed, but the bags discovered appeared to be those used to vacuum seal weed for later use.

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The Bootle bust, though, was not the first time vacuums and bud have crossed paths. In 2018, Revenue Customs Service, the Organised Crime Bureau and Garda, the Irish Republic’s state police, reported that officers had discovered more than a kilogram of cannabis inside a vacuum cleaner in the Dublin area thanks to intelligence received and the trusty nose of a drug-detecting canine.

Earlier this year in West Virginia, a couple was nabbed after local troopers discovered a bag of cannabis hidden inside a vacuum in the trunk of their vehicle and three more bags under the gear shift of the car.

Although it wasn’t cannabis, The Irish Times reported this past March that a 31-year-old man who had stashed almost $150,650 worth of heroin inside a vacuum cleaner that he kept in a garden shed was jailed for four years.

Beyond vacuums, though, weed has been stashed in a number of other household items, including fridges (which happened more than once), toilets (which, again, happened more than once) and a water heater and freezer.

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