TWO MEN who ran a small commercial cannabis-growing operation, estimated to have produced up to £77,000 worth of the drug, have both been jailed.
Wayne Smitten and Lee Jones had both pleaded guilty to producing cannabis over an 18-month period between May 2014 and November last year.
Warwick Crown Court heard that one of them believed they and a third man involved were making an estimated £1,600 every three months from their regular harvests.
Smitten, 44, of Jubilee Crescent, Coventry, was jailed for two-and-a-half-years, and Jones, 37, of Barton Road, Nuneaton, was sentenced to two years.
Prosecutor Amy Jackson said that on November 14 the police were contacted, as a result of which they went to Jones’s home at the time in Gilfil Road, Nuneaton.
Inside they found six young cannabis plants growing in the loft and four in one of the bedrooms.
The pair set-up cultivation tents, growing lamps and extractor fans, and the electric meter had been by-passed to provide the power for the equipment.
The court heard that Smitten had previous convictions for matters including driving offences and a caution for producing cannabis, but Jones was of previous good character.
Recorder Gareth Evans QC told both Smitten and Jones: “At some stage in 2014 you two and probably another person decided to get involved in the cultivation of cannabis for profit.
“Each played a part.
“One was the driver and one was the gardener, and someone else just took the money for doing nothing.
“Nevertheless, you were each willing partners.
“People go into drugs in order to make money – I come to the conclusion that is the reason you two went into it, and you made a considerable sum of money.
“You knew when you went into this trade that the inevitable sentence if you were convicted of it was immediate custody – and each of you will go away today because I cannot deal with it by suspending the sentence.
“But you Mr Jones will get a little bit more credit because you were a man of previous good character.”