After arriving in the United Kingdom illegally, Vietnam national, Cong An Dinh was deported for being convicted of possession with intent to supply cannabis at Isleworth Crown Court on August 24, 2009.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how he returned to the country illegally in a lorry, and subsequently began living at a property in Penrhyn Road, Hunters Bar with co-defendant, Manh Nguygen.
Officers executed a search warrant at the property on February 8 this year, and found what prosecutor, Brian Outhwaite, described as a ‘professional’ cannabis growing operation.
Mr Outhwaite said Nguygen answered the door to the police whereas An Dinh, aged 37, was found hiding in the loft.
“The cellar of the premises was found to contain two separate rooms, and there were a total of 57 plants being grown in these two rooms.
“42 of the plants being grown in one room were three-feet tall, with nine 600 watt bulbs and transformers. The 15 plants in the other room were two-feet tall with six 600 watt light bulbs and six transformers with silver foil on the walls. There was an induction pipe through the chimney breast,” said Mr Outhwaite.
Officers also found £1,760 in cash in a bedroom at the property, the court heard.
Prosecution and defence counsel agreed that the cannabis found at the property had a potential yield of just over two kilograms, and an estimated street value of approximately £10,000.
Both men were arrested, and An Dinh gave officers a fake name of Ho Nam, as well as a fake date of birth.
He told officers he had entered the country illegally, via France, and claims to have run up debts with the Vietnamese mafia.
“That is why he came to this country to do what he did,” said Mr Outhwaite.
Despite An Dinh, 37, using a different name and date of birth, police managed to uncover his real identity, and link his criminal record to his first set of offences.
Vietnam national, Nguyen, 30, who also arrived in the country illegally, made no comment in police interview.
Both men pleaded guilty to producing a controlled drug of Class B, namely cannabis, at an earlier hearing.
Edward Moss, defending An Dinh, said his best point of mitigation was his early guilty plea.
Representing Nguyen, Richard Thyne, said: “He came to the country to support his family, with the economic position being very different over there.”
The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, jailed An Dinh for 15 months, and Nguyen for 12 months.
He told both men he had ‘no doubt the Secretary of State will remove you from the United Kingdom’.
“I wish to make it clear to you, and others like you, if you enter the country illegally and then commit criminal acts, that sort of act will be met with appropriate sentences. But of greater significance, you will be, as night follows day, removed from the United Kingdom,” said Judge Richardson.
Turning to An Dinh, he added: “And as you have found out even if you change your name the authorities will be on to you.”
- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide custody images of both defendants