THREE illegal immigrants have been jailed for their part in a £700,000 cannabis factory set up in Barnsley.
Quy Pham, aged 26, Ngai Nguyen, 42 and Vin Nguyen, all of no fixed abode, were found hiding among nearly 2,000 cannabis plants growing in two homes.
They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce cannabis and were each jailed for two years and nine months.
Elizabeth Martin, prosecuting, said it was a very extensive cultivation. There were 864 plants in a house on Park Road, Worsbrough and 923 in a neighbouring home. The total street value was £768,000.
Sheffield Crown Court was told the men arrived in Barnsley separately on the understanding that they would be working as chefs.
But they were then forced to work as ‘gardeners’ in the drug factory.
Peter Pimm, representing Ngai Nguyen, said: “By coming here as an illegal immigrant he exposed himself to exploitation. He was vulnerable.”
Robert Sandford, for Vin Nguyen, said the men were ‘expendable commodities’ working for others.
Judge Michael Murphy QC, said: “If the word gets back to where you come from that there is money to be made from this sort of criminality without punishment and a free trip home this will become even more of a problem.”