What better place to illegally farm marijuana than somewhere that’s already been kept a secret to the public? In the UK, the Drakelow Tunnels, in Worcestershire were used as a top secret nuclear bunker during the Cold War. The caretaker of the Drakelow Tunnels is facing jail time after being found guilty of allowing the cultivation of marijuana in the tunnels. According to the BBC, in 2013 nearly 900 cannabis plants were found within the 3 miles of tunnel. Estimating at a street value of 650,000 euros or $723,840 USD.
The tunnels were originally built as a factory for the building of aircraft engine parts and then later used for tank production during the cold war. Additionally, the tunnels doubled as a possible base for the regional government in case of a nuclear attack. In the 1950’s, the bunker was even used by the UK Ministry of supplies as storage until the cold war ended in the 1990’s. Then Wayne Robinson, of Marlpool Lane, began working as caretaker of the former nuclear bunker.
During his trial by the Hereford Crown Court, Robinson claimed that he allowed two people to rent out a section of the Drakelow Tunnels for $222 USD a month. When asked if he was guilty of this crime he said he was only guilty of possessing a shotgun and ammo, and denied knowledge of the secret farm’s existence. Robinson says he attempted to evict the two for leaving garbage laying around the tunnels, but they threatened to “bury him.” He claimed only to know the two tenants by their first names: Fabian and Thomas. However, the only other individual being convicted in this case is a man by neither of those names. Instead, Jason Whiley, from Brierley Hill, was given two and a half years in prison for assisting in the production of marijuana. The second tenant, if they even exist, has yet to be found, so Robinson and Whiley are the only two facing sentencing for this case thus far.
Even though there’s no evidence of Robinson partaking in the cultivation of marijuana in the underground tunnels, the court believes that as the caretaker since the 1990s he must have known about the secret grow operation. Judge Abbas Mithani of the Queens Council came to the decision to convict Robinson to deter UK citizens from allowing the production of what they call “dangerous drugs.”
As for the future of the Drakelow Tunnels, restoration efforts have been in progress since 1993, and there are plans to turn the underground bunker into the UK’s largest Cold War museum.