Latest: Men arrested over Cookstown and Carrickmore cannabis factories remanded in custody

Cannabis in an evidence bag
Cannabis in an evidence bag

The two men arrested and charged following the discovery of five cannabis factories across Northern Ireland, including those in Cookstown and Carrickmore, have been remanded in custody.

Portadown man Roland Herron, 34, from the Fairways and Dundalk-based 33-year-old, Phong Hong Pham, of Racecourse Road appeared before Dungannon Magistrates on Monday, September 21.

Cannabis plants

Cannabis plants

The two men were remanded in custody until October 14, when they are due to appear before the court again.

Police charged the men with a number of offences related to the alleged cultivation and supply of cannabis.

They were arrested by detectives from Reactive and Organised Crime Branch following the discovery of five cannabis factories in the last 12 months.

The seizures at Magherafelt, Cookstown, Carrickmore, Millisle and Portadown resulted in the recovery of cannabis plants with a total estimated street value in excess of £1.5m.

The PSNI’s Detective Inspector Andy Dunlop said: “We have been conducting Operation Solaro for over a year in conjunction with our colleagues in An Garda Siochanna.

“Solaro is a Northern Ireland wide investigation into cannabis cultivation which stretches to the Irish Republic.

“We have already charged a number of people in connection with the discoveries.”