A Blacon man has been jailed after police who raided a remote farm near Corwen found that a large-scale cannabis factory had been set up.
There were 567 cannabis plants with a potential yield of up to £47,600.
The man who rented the farm at Maerdy, Corwen, was 50-year-old Andrew Philip Clark, of Glyn Garth in Blacon, Chester.
Clark, who had never been in trouble before, was jailed for 28 months when he appeared at Mold Crown Court on Friday (May 6).
He pleaded guilty to being involved with another in the production of the 567 plants at Cysulog Farm, Maerdy, between February and May 2015 and offering to supply an unknown amount of cocaine on one occasion.
Judge Geraint Walters said that in a remote location the defendant had rented a farm to be used as a cannabis factory.
“Most of the property had been converted for that use,” he explained.
It was a sophisticated operation with heating and watering and was clearly a significant operation.
Significant quantities of cannabis
There was evidence of harvesting and it was obviously an operation which was designed to produce significant quantities of cannabis.
When the defendant’s phone was examined there were text messages about the cannabis operation and a single text offering to supply cocaine.
Setting up cannabis farms was a particularly serious matter and were the business of underworld criminal gangs, he said.
“I reject the suggestion that you were a mere gardener which you plainly were not.”
Prosecutor Emmalyne Downing said that police executed a search warrant at the farm on May 6 last year and they forced an entry when there was no reply.
The defendant was found sitting on the edge of a double bed, he confirmed that he rented the farm, and officers found five large rooms made up of plastic sheeting.
Each room had cannabis plants of various sizes.
It was a professional set up with lighting, water and air ventilation.
There were 567 plants and the estimated potential yield was somewhere between £15,876 and £47,600.
Clark’s finger prints were found on a pot and on a hanging light.
Text messages on his mobile phone spoke of the cannabis including “need lots of watering” and “there are loads in there most of which appeared to be in-coming.
There was a single text involving the offer of cocaine.
Clark had been used
A second man was yet to be arrested.
Mark LeBrocq, defending, said that his client had been used by another man who had so far evaded arrest.
The single text involving cocaine was to a prostitute he had previously known and was trying to re-establish contact.
The defendant was a man of good character who suffered rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis and was the subordinate, the gardener who cared for the plants and who had been used to hire the property, he said.
He had been used by a more sophisticated man and was naively exploited.