Above: Some of the suspected Class B drugs seized.
Police have made two arrests in relation to an incident in Coalisland in the early hours of today (Saturday 17th April) during which a police officer was injured and a suspected cannabis factory was subsequently discovered.
Police responded to a report of a suspected burglary in progress at an address on Dungannon Road at around 12:50am. Two male suspects were located in the vicinity and, as one of the officers attempted to detain one of the suspects, a male officer was punched.
As part of follow-up enquiries, a search of a property at an address in Coalisland was carried out where a suspected cannabis factory and a quantity of suspected Class B drugs, with an estimated street value of almost £17,000, and other items, including drug-related paraphernalia, were seized. They have been taken away and will be subject to further examination.
A 41-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of offences, including burglary, handling stolen goods, possession of a Class B controlled drug, cultivating cannabis, assault on police and resisting police. A 42-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of offences, including burglary, handling stolen goods, cultivating cannabis and possession of a Class B drug with intent to supply. Both men remain in custody, at this time, assisting police with enquiries.
Inspector Cochrane said: "The officer who was assaulted was taken to hospital as a precaution and is expected to return to duty today. However, what happened to our officer must be condemned. This morning, our colleague was working to keep people safe when he was assaulted. It's completely unacceptable and must never be tolerated."
Inspector Cochrane is appealing to anyone who may have been in the Dungannon Road area around 12:45am to 12:50am and saw any suspicious activity to call 101, and quote reference number 77 of 17/04/21. You can also submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.
Inspector Cochrane added: “I want to take this opportunity to thank the member of public who made the report about the suspected burglary in progress to us. I would also take this opportunity to encourage anyone who sees any unusual or suspicious activity in their area to call us.
“The public can be assured we are committed to tackling the illegal supply and use of drugs, and we will continue to investigate those who profit from the consequent misery and harm, and I would ask any member who has any information about drugs or drug-dealing in their community to call us so we can take action. That call could make all the difference.”