Men jailed over plot to grow cannabis

Two men who set up cannabis factories in the Midlands have been sent to prison.
Two men who set up cannabis factories in the Midlands have been sent to prison.
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Two men who set up cannabis factories in the Midlands have been sent to prison.

Three others received suspended sentences at court last week.

John Fyfe, 26, of Ridding Close, Corby, was arrested on June 15 in Staffordshire by officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit after they discovered a plot to set up cannabis growing operations in Northamptonshire and Staffordshire between January and June 2012.

Officers from the unit raided properties in Staffordshire on June 15, 2012.

A total of 368 plants with an estimated street value of up to £171,800 were found at one address and equipment needed to grow cannabis, and evidence that a crop had been grown there previously, at another.

An earlier raid in February at the home of 47-year-old Alan McCormick in Culross Walk, Corby, had found 80 cannabis plants in two upstairs rooms.

Fyfe was arrested with Majinder Bagria, Darren Morris and Thomas Whitty in Staffordshire.

In January, four of the men pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court to separate of charges of conspiracy to produce cannabis and conspiracy to supply cannabis between January 1, 2012 and June 16, 2012.

McCormick admitted the single charge of conspiracy to produce class B drugs. Fyfe, who owned expensive cars and a microlight aircraft, also pleaded guilty to charges brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

In March, Bagria, 42, of Little Heath in Staffordshire, also admitted to being concerned in the supply of class A drugs because of a small quantity of cocaine and an amount of Benzocaine was found at his home.

At a hearing at Northampton Crown Court on Friday (May 17), Fyfe was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison and Bagria for two years and 10 months.

Both men still face POCA proceedings and could have their assets confiscated.

Morris, 38, of Eskrett Street, Hednesford, Staffordshire, received an 18-month sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work.

McCormick was given a 14-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, a 12 month supervision order and a four month curfew.

Whitty, of Underwood Lane, Crewe, Cheshire, received a 12 month sentence, suspended for two years. He was ordered to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work.