Deportation and jail sentence for man involved in cannabis factory
ONE of the men involved in a huge cannabis factory operation in Derby has been jailed.
Minh Nguyen's fingerprints were found after police raided the former Integrated Printing Services building in Abbey Street.
Officers swooped on the property and found 1,613 cannabis plants after the site's landlord went to check on the building and saw two men running away with rucksacks on their backs.
Alex Wolfson, prosecuting, said: "There were a significant number of plants – an industrious grow. It was a very large set-up."
He said the drugs could have made more than £750,000. Derby Crown Court heard it was a highly sophisticated set-up, with specialist lights, and plants ranged in size from seedlings to 4ft plants.
Jailing Nguyen for two years and two months, Judge John Gosling said: "You got yourself involved in a very serious crime.
"It would have been obvious to you that the people behind this farm were going to make a substantial profit from it and, by doing what you did, you not only helped them towards that profit but you prevented the authorities from catching up with them."
Vietnamese national Nguyen, 28, of no fixed address, admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis on or before September 26, 2011. The court was told that Nguyen first came to the UK in 2004 on a working visa. Nicola Hornby, in mitigation, said: "He came here because his parents took out a loan and he thought he would pay it off in a year. He was working as a room attendant in a hotel, which clearly wouldn't pay off the loan."
She said that Nguyen had not returned to Vietnam when his visa ran out but stayed and found more work.
Ms Hornby said: "Most of the jobs were dish-washing in restaurants in and around Birmingham. In this job, he was used as a labourer, carrying bags in and out."
Nguyen also admitted failing to surrender to custody.
The court was told that Nguyen now faced deportation.