Illegal immigrant to be deported after police find house turned into £260,000 cannabis factory

A TIP-off from the public led police to raid a semi-detached house in Northampton which, it was discovered, had been turned into a £260,000 cannabis factory. Officers executed a search warrant at the property in Mayfield Road, Abington, on October 20. Northampton Crown Court heard the three bedrooms were filled with equipment and 300 cannabis plants. Laura O’Malley, prosecuting, said Thuy Duong, aged 39, was found in the property and was arrested.

She said: “All three rooms were filled with plants, two of them having plants quite advanced on the growing process and all three were described as being filled with hydroponics equipment in order to facilitate the growing of the cannabis plants.” The court heard the plants would have yielded £87,000 per crop but could have generated £262,00 over a year. Duong, who arrived in the UK in the back of a lorry, pleaded guilty before magistrates last month to producing class B drugs, having told the police he had been paid £800 to tend to the plants for a week.

He was jailed for two years and now faces deportation on his release. The judge, Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC, said Duong’s guilty plea at the first opportunity had reduced the sentence by a year. He added: “To cultivate cannabis in this professional way is very serious and means anybody involved in it would immediately go to prison. I accept entirely that you are on a different level of involvement from the people who acquire the property, set up the factory and take the profits. “I am prepared to accept that you are not one of those and I also appreciate that people in your desperate position are easily exploited by serious individuals. Sadly this is a common place offence committed by people in your position.”

In a separate case, a Vietnamese woman has denied being involved in running a cannabis factory in Northampton town centre. Hong Tran, aged 52, was arrested when police unearthed a cannabis factory, with 523 plants in Derngate, Northampton, close to The Guildhall and County Hall. Speaking through an interpreter, she pleaded not guilty to cultivating cannabis on September 21 and was remanded in custody until trial.

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