Convicted drug dealer ran three cannabis farms
POLICE found three separate cannabis factories being run as a commercial operation – and masterminded by the same convicted drug dealer.
Three other people had also become embroiled in the cannabis growing operations, Grimsby Crown Court heard.
John Hutchison, 35, of Hatton Grove; Sarah-Jane Bennett, 35, of Harlech Way; Matthew Maddison, 20, of St Michael's Road; and Robert Mann, 31, of Bremerhaven Way, Grimsby, all admitted producing cannabis on January 2.
Jeremy Evans, prosecuting, said the police investigation started after officers went to a house in Harlech Way on an unrelated matter.
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There was a strong smell of cannabis and 24 cannabis plants were found in a bedroom.
A search of premises in Hatton Grove revealed 97 cannabis plants, with a street value of £11,500.
A house in Sutcliffe Avenue was also searched and 24 cannabis plants, worth about £2,880, were found.
The court heard how Hutchison had been jailed for six-and-a-half years in August 2002 for supplying heroin after being caught in Operation Troop.
He had also been jailed for 18 months in August 1999 for supplying cannabis and amphetamine. Mann had been jailed for 15 months and for four years for supplying drugs, including heroin.
Andrew Bailey, mitigating, said Hutchison, a plumbing and heating engineer, ran the three cannabis factories as a commercial operation.
He now hoped he could turn his back on crime.
Steven Freestone, representing mother-of-three Bennett, said she spent £500 on equipment for the cannabis growing operation.
She got involved in a bid to clear debts and hugely regretted her actions.
Craig Lowe, for Mann, said it was a commercial supply operation. Father-of-six Mann, a heroin addict, owed money.
He handed himself in to the police and had shown remorse.
Gordon Stables, representing Maddison, said his client had no previous convictions and was a cannabis user.
Hutchison was jailed for four years and the others for 18 months.