Police in the U.K. stumbled across an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation after conducting a raid at what they expected to be a cannabis farm. Bitcoin mining uses a ton of electricity, and now all that energy is causing problems for law enforcement.
The mine — located in an industrial building outside of Birmingham — was stealing thousands of pounds worth of electricity. Illegal activity was found, just not the type police expected.
For those unaware, cannabis farms use a ton of electricity and put out huge heat signals, which police use to track down grow houses. So when the West Midlands Police spotted a considerable heat source with a drone, they went in to bust a cannabis operation.
Law enforcement said they were tipped off about the location after getting reports about “lots of people visiting the unit.” Combine all that foot traffic with heat sources, and police just assumed it was for Marijuana.
Instead, police discovered a huge farm of over 100 specialized bitcoin rigs after busting down the doors. No one was home, unfortunately, so the investigation is still ongoing. Officers seized the equipment, but no arrests have been made.