Bedfordshire Police uncovered a cannabis factory in Rushden during raids on six addresses across three counties on Thursday (June 16).
Officers swooped on six properties in Bedford and two in Rugby following tip-offs in pre-planned, intelligence-led warrants as part of a Bedfordshire Police investigation into organised cannabis production.
A spokesperson said they found a cannabis factory inside the residential property in Rushden with a dangerous wiring set-up being used to power heat lamps.
Eight men aged between 22 and 55 were arrested on suspicion of offences including cannabis production, money laundering and being concerned in the supply of cannabis.
Detective Inspector Andy Stevens added: “We know from experience that the organised production of cannabis is intrinsically linked to violence, exploitation and a host of other criminal acts.
“It’s therefore vital that we look to apprehend those involved and ensure they can’t operate in our communities.
“Growing and selling cannabis is not only illegal but can also generate funds for gangs to use in other criminal enterprises.
“This morning’s warrants represent the latest activity in our drive to disrupt drug dealing networks and stop criminals making money from the illegal drugs trade.”
Crimestoppers recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers residential and commercial properties bring to communities when being used to cultivate cannabis. It is estimated that 94 per cent of cannabis farms are located in domestic houses.
Illegal drug activity not only has a detrimental affect on local communities, but also on vulnerable individuals within society, who may be coerced, forced or exploited into carrying out illegal activities on behalf of organised crime gangs.