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A MAN has been charged after 3,500 cannabis plants and 27 kilos of ready to sell cannabis were found in Ardleigh.

The cannabis was found in three barns at a former chicken farm off Fox Street.

Officers also seized a large quantity of cultivation equipment during a raid on Friday night.

Engineers from UK Power Networks were called to deal with allegedly stolen electricity at the site.

Anthony Davis, 48, of Fox Street, Ardleigh, was charged with production of a controlled drug.

He appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court earlier today and was remanded into custody to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court next month.

He did not enter a plea.

A fully grown cannabis plant can have a street value of up to £1,000 meaning the total found is worth an estimated £3.5million.

The ready to sell cannabis would have a street value of more than £75,000.