Police seized cannabis plants with an estimated street value of more than £600,000 when they raided two properties in Leeds and Heckmondwike which had been turned into drug factories.
Jailing six men at Leeds Crown Court yesterday for their roles in a conspiracy to produce the drug, Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said the scheme involved significant expenditure and planning in order to produce “vast quantities” of cannabis.
Two of the gang, Adrian Dickinson and David Graham were even seen at the ‘Grow Exhibition’ in Manchester in July last year which provides everything for indoor cultivation for traders and retailers.
Plants were found growing at two cannabis farms, one set up in an industrial unit in an enclosed yard at John Street, Heckmondwike, the other was in a terraced house in Park Crescent, Armley. Both had mother plants from which cuttings could be taken.
“I have no doubt had it not been for the excellent police work and arrests in August last year this enterprise would have continued,” said Judge Marson, who commended the officers involved.
Kirstie Watson prosecuting said police raided the John Street unit on August 11 last year and found two large rooms adapted for growing cannabis. In the main growing room 740 plants were seized while in the second, used as a nursery or propagation room 560 juvenile plants and five “mother” plants were found. The potential yield would have a total street value of £452,571.
On September 19, police searched the house in Armley and found six of the seven rooms adapted for cultivation, with 722 immature plants found with an estimated street value of £181,000 but conditions suggested an earlier crop had been harvested there.
On August 4 police had recovered 113 bags containing soil, root balls, plastic sheets, plants stalks and compost bags, dumped on waste land in Brown Lane East, Leeds, consistant with such a harvest, said Miss Watson.
Dickinson, 34, of Ebor Place, Hyde Park, Leeds, was jailed for six years. His brother Aaron Dickinson, 26, of Withnell Road, Blackpool, received four and a half years, Graham, 26, of Cottingley Drive, Leeds was sentenced to five years three months, John Paul Newman, 37, of St Wilfred’s Crescent, Gipton, Leeds, was jailed for four years three months, Carl Garrity, 32, of Templegate Avenue, Leeds received 27 months and James Weaver, 31, of Mount Pleasant Heights, Pudsey, was jailed for two years.