The cannabis grow was set up in a network of underground air-raid shelters from World War II
A West Yorkshire man has been sentenced to two years in jail after a raid by authorities yielded a cannabis grow set up in a network of underground air-raid shelters from World War II located under his business.
Gary Hodgkinson, a 55-year-old grandfather, allowed a group of unlicensed commercial growers to set up shop underneath the stone company, where he is the managing director, citing financial difficulties as a result of cheaper imports and the recession.
When police arrived at the company last summer, Hodgkinson demonstrated how to access the tunnels (via a massive safe) at which point officers searched the network, finding a total of 48 mature plants, a variety of growing equipment, a vacuum packer, and approximately £36,000 ( about CAD$63,008) of cannabis that was packaged up and ready for sale.
Prosecutor Michael Smith said that the 38 plants could have produced an additional £45,000 (approximately CA$78,760) worth of the drug.
Hodgkinson told police that he had been approached by the growers three years ago about using the tunnels to grow cannabis, and admitted giving in to temptation in an attempt to solve the business’s financial difficulties. Prosecutors say that Hodgkinson was given “a cut” of their earnings, as well as expenses such as rent and utilities.
Hodgkinson denies selling any of the cannabis. After a dispute with the growers, however, he opted to persevere with the project. He has had no previous convictions.
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