Spanish News Chopper Accidentally Leads Police to a Rooftop Pot Grow
A news camera covering one of the year’s biggest professional bike races turned into a stool pigeon when it inadvertently broadcast a poorly hidden rooftop cannabis garden.
Published on September 5, 2019

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A helicopter-mounted camera following one of the year’s most anticipated professional bicycle races, the Vuelta a España, unwittingly led local police to an illicit Barcelona rooftop cannabis grow. Subsequently, Catalan cops planned a raid and eventually confiscated 40 mature pot plants. 

According to ESPN, during the 8th and final stage of the Vuelta — one of cycling’s biggest multi-stage races — bikers careened in a tight pack through the streets of Barcelona. To capture the action, a bird’s-eye-view camera followed close above. But in addition to broadcasting the peddle jockeys pushing for first place, the helicopter cameras also captured a sizeable pot grow on an apartment rooftop along the urban route.

A clip of the grow op flyover quickly went viral, eventually catching the attention of local police, who pinpointed the apartment complex and raided the rooftop, pulling down more than three dozen plants.

"We received information thanks to the images that individuals posted on social media that had been taken from the helicopter of La Vuelta," a Mossos spokesperson told ESPN. "That has helped us to seize 40 marijuana plants. No one has been arrested, but the investigation is still ongoing to find those responsible."

And while growing cannabis for personal consumption is currently legal in Catalan, planting a massive for-profit garden plot on the top of a shared housing complex is not covered under local law. 

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Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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