NARCOTICS squad detectives swooped on a picturesque village post office after staff and a pair of dogs accidentally rumbled an illegal drugs deal.
Frampton-on-Severn Post Office staff and customers thought they could smell something suspicious when a parcel was left for collection - then a dog tore open the outer packaging and they realised it contained the illegal Class B drug.
After Cocker Spaniels Frankie and Badger sniffed it out, officers seized the parcel.
Then because it had the sender’s address in it, drugs squad police raided a nearby farm where they discovered up to four small cannabis plants.
A 23-year-old man from the village was arrested and cautioned. It is understood that an unwitting relative of the arrested man dropped the parcel off at the post office.
“It was left here to go out with Parcelforce,” said one worker in the Post Office and stores, which faces the longest village green in England.
“The smell was horrific. The dogs were very interested in it - it really stank.
“It raised suspicions, as it was either a bad pair of old socks, or something that wasn’t legal.
“Obviously we were shrewd enough to know it was not something we should be sending. Perhaps they thought we were naive but it turned out we were correct.
“The police were called and they took it away. We believe it was dry matter inside.”
A police spokesman said the parcel was addressed to a recipient in London but they intercepted it before it was loaded in to a delivery van, on Thursday, March 13. It had an estimated street value of between £250 and £300.
Officers quickly called at a nearby farm as the sender had included his details inside the parcel. They recovered cannabis plants there and arrested a 23-year-old man.
“We conducted a search of a premises near the post office and found three to four plants,” said a police spokesman.
“He had been intending to send the cannabis to a friend in London.
“The 23-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession and cultivation of cannabis, and on suspicion of possession of cannabis with intent to supply.
“He was cautioned for the second offence.”
Controlled drugs and narcotics
such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD, opium and amyl nitrate cannot be posted through Royal Mail, as its dangerous goods leaflet confirms.
Royal Mail spokeswoman Val Bodden said: “There are some items which Royal Mail is unable to carry in the UK for legal or health and safety reasons.
“Customers are responsible for checking whether or not an item is prohibited and failure to comply with these regulations could result in prosecution.”
More details are at www.royalmail.com/prohibitedgoods or www.royalmail.com/restrictedgoods, or by calling 08457 950 950 (Textphone: 08456 000 606 for customers who are deaf or hearing impaired).