A gang member involved in the biggest ever cannabis factory ever found in South Yorkshire has been jailed for 18 months.
Lam Nguyen Viet, aged 28, of no fixed abode, was part of a gang which set up and ran the drug den on Kettlebridge Road, Attercliffe, Sheffield.
Police officers acting on an anonymous tip-off raided the industrial warehouse and found nearly 5,000 cannabis plants with a potential street value of £4.2 million.
Viet pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and also admitted producing the drug in set ups in Leeds and Southampton, where he was arrested in July 2014 at a property described as being ‘in the early stages of a commercial cannabis factory.’
PC Richard Stump, who led the investigation for South Yorkshire Police, said: “Lam Nguyen Viet was part of an organised gang that operated throughout the country.
“This was a substantial seizure of cannabis with a street value in the millions and this prosecution highlights South Yorkshire Police’s continued efforts to tackle organised crime.
“The huge amount of cannabis we recovered has been destroyed and this police operation has undoubtedly rid the streets of South Yorkshire of a significant amount of drugs.”
Officers discovered the Sheffield operation after receiving an anonymous tip-off in October 2013, reporting strange activity and a strong smell of cannabis from the unit.
When officers raided the unit officers discovered a false structure within the warehouse that had been separated into five different rooms.
Some 4,771 cannabis plants were found at various stages of growth, along with a small area used as living quarters.
Fingerprints on items including a beer can were kept on file which, in June 2014, led officers to Viet when he was arrested at a property in Leeds containing 60 cannabis plants.
Viet was bailed and later arrested at a property in Southampton, again on suspicion of production of drugs.