Man produced 260 cannabis plants at home

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An illegal immigrant was jailed for a year after tending cannabis plants which could have raked in £156,000 profits for drug dealers in Chesterfield.

A court was told Van Nguyen, 34, was likely to be sent back to Vietnam after serving time in a UK prison.

He was caught when Chesterfield police were looking for a drugs production unit in the area.

They spotted Nguyen, who had a key to a house on Pretoria Street, Shuttlewood. Sarah Allen, prosecuting, told Derby Crown Court there were 260 plants in two bedrooms and the attic.

She said: “The potential value of the yield was from £46,800 up to £156,000.

“He accepted that he was involved but claimed he acted under duress. Now he has accepted there was a financial element in his involvement.”

Nguyen admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis between October 20 and 26.

Chris Brewin, mitigating, said Nguyen was illegally in the UK but his wife was permitted to be here and lives in London.

“He travelled to Chesterfield in the expectation of legitimate work and found himself in a bind. He was arrested away from the property and was contemplating a return to his family at that time,” he told the court.

Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC told Nguyen: “You were involved in the gardening of 260 cannabis plants which had the potential to bring significant profits to the people involved. It must be recognised as a very serious criminal enterprise.”