An illegal immigrant was caught tending a cannabis farm which could have flooded Chesterfield’s streets with £236,000 of the drug.
Police arrested Lam Le, 34, after raiding a house on Recreation View, Langwith Junction, on May 9.
Derby Crown Court heard on Wednesday, September 4, how fingerprint checks revealed he had tended an even larger operation in Somerset.
Vietnamese Le admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis and was sent to prison for a year. The court heard he will be deported.
Recorder Sarah Wright told him: ”You told police you had been in the UK for four years and were involved in the cultivation.”
Justin Wigoder, prosecuting, said police originally discovered 263 cannabis plants at a house in Somerset after a fire in 2011 where fingerprints were taken and eventually linked to Le after the recent raid at Langwith Junction.
The raid uncovered 159 plants that could have produced cannabis worth between £75,000 and £236,000 according to the court.
Mr Wigoder said: “He is a gardener, playing a lesser role in commercial growing.”
Sarah Brown, mitigating, said Le arrived as an illegal immigrant and had earned £1,500 which he sent home. She added: “He is an only child with two disabled parents and there is no public health care for people there.”
Le wanted to be deported as soon as possible because his poor English made life in a British jail “extremely difficult”.