Two men have admitted running a sophisticated £500,000 drugs operation from a bungalow in a quiet north-east village.
Police seized more than 640 cannabis plants when they staged a raid on the property on Elphin Street in New Aberdour, near Fraserburgh, in July.
Officers found growing areas had been set up in the living room, two bedrooms and the adjoining garage, with white sheeting covering the ceilings, walls and floors of each.
While more than one-quarter of the plants seized were saplings yet to gain any “intrinsic value” to criminals, they estimated the remainder was worth upwards of half-a-million pounds.
Yesterday Egidijus Andzelis, 22, and 26-year-old Inas Maksimavicius appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where they pleaded guilty to producing and supplying the class B drug.
Last night neighbours spoke of their shock after discovering there had been an elaborate criminal enterprise operating on their doorstep.
One resident, who lived nearby, said: “We saw one of them a few times and maybe once or twice they were both out but they kept their heads down and didn’t talk much.
“The blinds and curtains were always closed.
“People have asked if we smelled the cannabis but I’ve never smelled the drug before so wouldn’t know what it was like.”
Another said: “There had been talk in the village for a while because the windows were always boarded up.
“We found it very strange when it came to summer and the windows were still closed and the blinds were still shut.
“Someone saw them out around 1am a few times moving things and suspicion grew.
“They move to a small place like this thinking they’ll get away with it but people here notice more – especially when they didn’t get involved with the community, clearing paths in winter and the like.”
Fiscal depute Katy Begg said police had finally swooped on the New Aberdour property on July 26 this year.
She said: “The accused were both in the kitchen and were cautioned and arrested.
“It quickly became apparent that the cannabis cultivation was significant and well-established.
“Almost the entire property had been made into a cultivation.”
Andzelis and Maksimavicius, whose addresses were both listed in court papers as HMP Grampian, will be sentenced next month.
They are expected to face significant prison sentences.