‘Gardener’ jailed over £100k cannabis farm

an ILLEGAL immigrant has been jailed after he was caught growing hundreds of cannabis plants worth more than £100,000.

Nguyen Nguyen, 31, faces deportation back to Vietnam when he is released from his 21-month prison sentence.

He admitted producing class B drugs as a part-time “gardener” at a cannabis factory uncovered at a farmhouse in Wainstalls, Halifax.

He had moved in to Upper Slack Farm just three days before the property was raided last October.

When police arrived, he tried to escape from a window at the back of the house before retreating back inside.

Officers had to force their way inside, where they found 512 plants capable of producing more than 13kg of the drug.

Their street value was estimated at £116,000.

Prosecutor Richard Smith told Bradford Crown Court nearly every room was kitted out with lights, heating and ventilation equipment, and the electricity meter had been bypassed.

“The kitchen was the only room that was plant-free,” he said.

An inspector involved in the case described the operation as one of the most sophisticated and organised he had come across.

Jailing Nguyen, Recorder Robert Adams said the farmhouse had been completely converted into a cannabis production centre.

“Every room save for the kitchen had been converted and or used for the production of cannabis,” said the judge.

“A total of 512 plants were recovered either growing or cropped. There was a potential yield of 13.5kg worth, no doubt at street value, £116,000.”

The court heard Nguyen hoped to buy a ticket back to Vietnam with the cash he was to earn from working at the cannabis factory.

After the raid, police planned to donate the plant feed and compost they recovered to local schools with garden areas.

The raid was carried out by officers from Halifax North and East neighbourhood policing team and West Yorkshire Police’s Operations Support Division.