Six jailed after raid on cannabis farm

CULTIVATION: Some of the cannabis plants found on the raid in Heckmondwike.
CULTIVATION: Some of the cannabis plants found on the raid in Heckmondwike.

CANNABIS plants with a potential street value of £450,000 were seized by police who raided a drugs farm in Heckmondwike, Leeds Crown Court heard this week.

Officers found 1,350 plants at the industrial unit which was in an enclosed yard in John Street, the court was told.

Six men have been jailed for their part in producing the cannabis at both the Heckmondwike premises and a terraced house in Armley, Leeds, in an operation described as being on an ‘industrial scale’.

Two of the gang, Adrian Dickinson and David Graham, were even seen at the ‘Grow Exhibition’ in Manchester last July which provides everything for indoor cultivation for traders and retailers.

Kirstie Watson, prosecuting, told the court the John Street unit was raided by police last August who found two large rooms adapted for growing cannabis.

In the main growing room 740 plants were seized, while in the second, used as a nursery or propagation room, 560 juvenile plants and five “mother” plants were found. The potential yield would have had a total street value of £452,571.

A month later, police searched the house in Armley and found six of the seven rooms adapted for cultivation, with 722 immature plants found which had an estimated street value of £181,000.

Dickinson, 34, of Ebor Place Leeds, was jailed for six years, and his brother Aaron Dickinson, 25, of Withnell Road, Blackpool, received four and a half years.

Graham, 26, of Cottingley Drive, Leeds, was sentenced to five years and three months, John Paul Newman, 37, of Stonegate Gardens, Leeds, was given four years and three months, Carl Garrity, 32, of Templegate Avenue, Leeds, received 27 months, and James Weaver, 31, of Mount Pleasant Heights, Pudsey, was jailed for two years.

All admitted conspiracy to produce cannabis.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC praised the police investigation.

“I have no doubt had it not been for the excellent police work and arrests in August last year this enterprise would have continued,” he said.

After the case Det Insp Warren Stevenson of West Yorkshire Police’s Crime Division said: “These men created a network to allow for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis on an industrial scale.”