Overhead video of stage 8 at the Vuelta a España showed more than just Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb) triumphing over his breakaway companions on a stormy day in Catalunya. According to The Guardian, the television coverage led authorites to an illegal marijuana-growing operation in the town of Igualada.
Officers of the Mossos d'Esquadra were informed by social media of the pot growing operation north-west of Barcelona.
“We received information via social media that there was a marijuana plantation on the roof of a block of flats in Igualada,” a spokeswoman of the Mossos d'Esquadra said to The Guardian.
“We began an investigation, which is still under way, and we have seized 40 plants. For the moment, there have been no arrests.”
The roof of the apartment building was not directly linked to any of the flats, so investigators are trying to determine who was responsible for the plants.
It was a much smaller operation than the one uncovered by the Guardia Civil in Extremadura, where a raid of a farm in Alcuéscar in Cáceres province last month turned up 22,000 marijuana plants, 281kg of buds and growing equipment.
Nine Albanian nationals and one Spaniard were arrested in connection with the raid, according to The Guardian.
Marijuana was decriminalised for personal cultivation and use in Spain, but it is illegal to sell or trade the drug. Catalunya in 2017 legalised cannabis clubs with strict rules to reduce drug tourism. Members of the clubs can use, cultivate and distribute marijuana with some restrictions, meaning the pot farm found in the video could be completely above board.
🔴 🚁 El helicóptero de #LaVuelta19 descubre una plantación de marihuana en una azotea. pic.twitter.com/Zhry3x1rngSeptember 3, 2019