What do you expect to find in haystacks apart from maybe a needle? More hay? Maybe a stray sheep?

What about a million pound cannabis operation?

That's right - three men were running a highly illegal cannabis growing operation from inside a haystack in Staffordshire. We are not kidding you.

It sounds like a weird storyline from Emmerdale involving the Sugdens and Dingles that no one would believe could ever really happen - but it's completely true!

Credit: SWNS

The police searched Brackenhurst Farm in Newchurch near Burton-on-Trent in March and found secret rooms hidden by hay bales, thousands of pounds in cash and hundreds of cannabis plants.

Credit: SWNS

Experts have said that the plants could have produced over 60kg worth of skunk a year - a street value of almost half a million pounds!

And they say there's no money in farming.

It was on a huge scale, too. Some of the giant hay bales could only be moved by tractors - it was like a hidden world beneath the hay.

One of the men, Raymond Nicholls, pleaded guilty to the cultivation and production of cannabis with intent to supply. Nicholls is apparently suffering from cancer and was released on bail - is this a real life Breaking Bad story?

Martin Young and Ian Locke were jailed for their involvement, with Young sentenced to two years and three months and Locke three years and two months.

Locke's been locked up.

The next time you drive past a hay bale in the countryside - you never know what could be hiding in there. A Russian spy centre, a Vietnamese dumpling factory, a meth workshop - who knows?!

Mark McGowan

Mark is a journalist at LADbible, who joined in 2015 after a year as a freelance writer. In the past he blogged for independent football fan channel Redmen TV, after graduating from Staffordshire University with degrees in journalism and English literature. He has worked on campaigns such as UOKM8? and IIOC.

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