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Man charged after fire at shed alerted police to ‘cannabis factory’ in Newry

Some of the suspected drugs discovered at the property.

Detectives have charged a 48-year-old man following the seizure of suspected Class B drugs on the Derrywilligan Road, Newry on Sunday, August 1.

The man has been charged with a number of offences including, cultivating cannabis, possession of a Class B controlled drug and possession of a Class B controlled drug with intent to supply.

Detectives were alerted to what has been described as a ‘cannabis factory‘, when they were tasked to investigate the circumstances surrounding a fire in the Newry area on Sunday evening.

The blaze, at a large shed on the Derrywilligan Road, was reported to police at 5.40pm. Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service personnel attended and extinguished the fire which had caused substantial damage to the shed.

The shed was searched and a suspected cannabis factory was discovered and approximately 800 suspected cannabis plants.

Consequentially a 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis and other drug related offences and taken into custody.

Detective Sergeant McCarragher said:

“Enquiries into this incident are ongoing and the cause of the fire remains under investigation. We are appealing for anyone with information and who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area or have information about this incident to contact detectives on 101, quoting reference number 1529 01/08/21."

The 48 year old man is due to appear before Armagh Magistrates Court today, Tuesday August 3.

As is usual procedure, all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.