Three men have been jailed for their roles in a conspiracy to produce cannabis worth over £350,000 at six homes in West Yorkshire.
Christopher Squires, 45, and Simon Field, 45, and Robert Squires, 49, were sentenced to over 12 years in total at Leeds Crown Court.
Police executed search warrants at addresses in Heckmondwike and Batley in March last year.
The searches took place at Cemetery Road, two addresses on Powell Street, two addresses on Longfield Road and Commonside, Hanging Heaton.
Officers found more than 2,000 cannabis plants worth around £350,000 along with about £30,000 in cash and £20,000 in premium bonds. Builder Christopher Squires said he had got involved in producing cannabis because of the recession.
Margaret Taylor, prosecuting, said: “He blamed the government for making it difficult to make a legitimate living. He said it was not about greed, it was about survival.”
Freddie Apfel, for Christopher Squires, said he had no previous convictions and the cannabis was being produced to sell wholesale, not to individual users.
Anastasis Tasou, for Robert Squires, said he had worked as a plumber for more than 30 years and had invested in property but got into trouble because of the recession.
He said: “It seemed to Mr Squires a less abhorrent option to grow cannabis to make some income rather than rely on state benefits.”
Robin Freize, for Field, a tattooist, said he was only involved with the cannabis found at Cemetery Road, which he owned and rented to Christopher Squires. All three men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce cannabis.
Christopher Squires, of Cemetery Road, Heckmondwike, was jailed for five and three months, Robert Squires, of Powell Street, Heckmondwike, got four and a half years, and Field, of Windsor Gardens, Dewsbury, was jailed for two years and three months.
Jailing them, judge Geoffrey Marson said: “You were doing it for profit with no regard for the impact your activities would have on others.”