Man and teenager jailed for roles in £220,000 Carlisle cannabis farm

Hung Ba Nguyen and Kashif Suleman Credit: Cumbria Police

A man and a teenager have been jailed for their involvement in a huge cannabis factory on a Carlisle industrial estate.

The city’s crown court heard how the owner of a commercial unit in the Durranhill area went with an electrician to make checks on July 6 after being alerted to power supply problems.

1,172

cannabis plants were found in various stages of maturity

He found a marquee had been erected within the unit comprising 10 separate rooms. Three contained a total of 1,172 cannabis plants in various stages of maturity while other rooms were supplied by ventilation and lighting which suggested the crop would not be a one-off.

The cannabis plants Credit: Cumbria Police

Police found a sophisticated and large cannabis production unit together with a living area including a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping facilities. It is estimated the potential yield would be in the region of 22kg with an estimated street value of £220,000.

Arthur Gibson, Prosecutor
£220,000

The estimated street value of the quantity of cannabis plants seized by police.

Hung Ba Nguyen Credit: Cumbria Police

After the unit owner visited the nearby police station to raise the alarm, officers responded. On their way they saw 19-year-old Hung Ba Nguyen - who had been earlier seen at the unit - and he was arrested after trying to flee.

It emerged Nguyen had been put to work as a cannabis gardener for an increased wage after initially travelling to Carlisle on the promise of construction work.



Kashif Suleman, 43 Credit: Cumbria Police

A second man, Kashif Suleman, 43, was detained in London four days later with two phones and £8,000 cash. In debt to others, he had rented the unit through a local letting agency, paying three months’ rent of £12,000 up front for it from his business account having invented a cover story.

His phone also contained web searches for news reports of Carlisle cannabis farm discoveries and researching how to grow the drug.

Suleman, of Lewin Road, London, and Nguyen - a Vietnamese national living in the UK illegally - both admitted conspiracy to produce cannabis.

They were jailed for 40 months and 12 months, respectively.

Recorder Katherine Pierpoint said: “This was a drug operation capable of producing significant quantities of cannabis for commercial use.”

Conspiracies only work if people are willing to rent units or water plants. Everybody plays a part in that serious criminal behaviour.

The judge