A criminal gang has been jailed for their part in a multi-million pound cannabis growing operation.
Police used forensic evidence and old-fashioned surveillance work to link twelve men to the drugs factory uncovered in Holmfield Lane, Wakefield.
The sophisticated facility – one of the largest ever discovered in Britain – had the potential to produce £2million worth of the Class B drug each year.
When officers raided the converted warehouse in July 2012 they found almost 1000 plants and £55,000 worth of equipment – including growing tents, ventilation and automatic watering systems.
Last week, the dozen men, aged between 23 and 56, were handed prison sentences totalling 53 years.
Detective Inspector Neil Hollis, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “When the premises was raided we found evidence that the growing areas within the building were actually being extended further.
“By shutting down this facility we have prevented a significant quantity of drugs from being sold on the streets of West Yorkshire.
“We were presented with a web of lies of ignorance of what was happening at the premises and lack of association between the men. The detailed and protracted investigation carried out ensured we were able to prove that all eleven men had spent significant amounts of time at the property and were all known to each other.”
Following sentencing at Leeds Crown Court, the force confirmed it would begin confiscation proceedings against the defendants.
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