Veteran cannabis farmer played 'operational role' in converting Northampton industrial unit into cannabis factory, court hears

Tan Nyugen-Cong was found hiding in the loft of the Northampton cannabis factory after police executed a warrant

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 6:00 am
Tan Nyugen-Cong was jailed for three years after he was caught running a cannabis farm in the UK for the second time.

A veteran cannabis farmer who ran a drugs factory after taking over and converting a Northampton industrial unit has been jailed.

Tan Nguyen-Cong was found in hiding in the loft of outlet in Upper Thrift Street after police busted the door in on July 2020.

Inside, they found a crop of 600 plants either growing or drying worth up to £215,000 if it were sold on the street.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (March 17) how another man, Ban Hoang-Thach, 45, was also arrested at the scene - but he was remarked as "just a gardener" compared to Nyugen-Cong's place in the operation.

In fact, this is the second time in the space of two years Nyugen-Cong, 38, has been sentenced after being arrested at the scene of a cannabis factory in the UK, after he was jailed for the same thing in Wales in 2018.

Prosecutor Gary Short told the judge: "While Hoang-Thach's role was that of a gardener, the same cannot be said for Nyugen-Cong.

"Texts recovered from his mobile phone showed he had a more operational role.

"He had several messages to a contact for someone called 'Master Boss'. They included requests for equipment to set up the grow, food, and even asking for [an associate] to be given a job and 'join our team'.

"He was previously found at an address in Wales in 2018 containing 500 plants, for which he received nine months.

"It's the crown's case Nyugen-Cong played a more active role in this operation than his co-defendant."

In sentencing, His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo told Nyugen-Cong that because this is his second drug related offence he will likely be deported to his home country of Vietnam.

Nyugen-Cong was sentenced to three years in prison. Hoang-Thach was also handed eight months in jail.