UK News: £15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis

20:25  19 july  2019
20:25  19 july  2019 Source:   msn.com

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£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Underground bunker at Bog Farm (left) Michael Moore and Michael Harley (top right) drugs found in a lorry (bottom right)

A gang which smuggled more than £15million worth of cannabis from Spain into the UK also used an underground bunker in North Wales to grow the drug.

The gang imported 2.5 tonnes of cannabis from Spain by hiding it among kitchen equipment and vegetables in lorries arriving into the UK through Dover.

They also dug out a secret underground bunker formed of buried storage containers on a farm in Denbighshire in order to grow cannabis within.

However they found conditions at the property - called Bog Farm - were too wet for the cannabis to grow.

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The gang has now been brought down by Greater Manchester Police, with seven men handed prison sentences for their role in the organised operation.

They included Michael Moore, 30, and Michael Harley, 34, both of Bog Farm in Eryrys near Mold , who pleaded guilty to production of cannabis and were given jail sentences of two years and nine months.

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Drugs seized from lorry consignments

The farm was the site of the underground bunker.

Police said the gang transported drugs via fake businesses and lockups located in Manchester, Bolton and Warrington.

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police The underground bunker in North Wales used to store cannabis

Between July 2017 and November 2017 seven deliveries of cannabis were imported to the UK via Spain through Port of Dover.

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Drugs were concealed in packages labelled as oven filters. They purported to be destined for a kitchen firm.

But the business did not exist and the address associated with it actually referred to a yard containing lock-up units behind a convenience store on Newton Road, Lowton, Warrington.

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Michael Moore (05/10/1988) of Bog Farm, Eryrys, Mold pleaded guilty to production of cannabis on an industrial scale and was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison. £15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Wesley Kinsella (30/09/1987) of Heatherfield, Bolton pleaded guilty to importing cannabis and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Between September 2017 and August 2018 six further deliveries arrived through Dover with drugs concealed in pallets of lettuce and peppers.

This tranche was destined for a cold storage company in North Manchester.

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Michael Lawlor (09/05/1970) of Lewisham House, Kenton Close, Bolton was found guilty of importing cannabis and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Officers stopped the sixth delivery in Dover on 12 August 2018 and uncovered 177kg of cannabis with a street value of more than £1.5 million.

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Durham Police say small drug farms or joint smokers will not be pursued. Police minister Mike Penning said: ‘ Growing cannabis , whether for personal use or organised supply, is illegal However, Simon Stephens of North -East drugs charity Addiction said the move towards decriminalisation was

Cannabis remains illegal to possess, grow , distribute, sell or grow in the UK. While being convicted of producing and supplying the Class-B drug carries up to 14 years behind bars, an unlimited fine, or both. The new rules apply to England, Wales and Scotland, Sajid Javid said in a written statement.

Police raided a unit at the site in Lowton which was owned by Tony Cadman.

Further investigations linked the unit to Michael Lawler, Wesley Kinsella and a second lock-up at Hartford Works, Western Street, Bolton.

Police executed a warrant at the lockup and found a stolen Mercedes which contained £20,000 worth of cannabis.

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Lee Jackson (08/01/1981) of Bradmoor Road, Wirral, pleaded guilty to importing cannabis and was sentenced to nine years and four months in prison.

This recovery led police to Lee James Jackson and Scott Byrne.

Meanwhile, enquiries at legitimate storage companies found consignments were destined for onward delivery to Bog Farm in North Wales.

Police raided the farm and a concealed underground bunker designed to grow cannabis was discovered.

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Michael Harley (29/04/1984) of Bog Farm, Eryrys, Mold pleaded guilty to production of cannabis on an industrial scale and was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.

They arrested Michael Harley, who was living in a caravan on the farm, as well as Michael Moore, who was living in the farmhouse.

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Harley admitted that the underground bunker was built at the farm three years previously but that production there ceased shortly afterwards as it was too wet to grow cannabis.

Drugs imported using the concealments in the cooker filters to the lock up in Lowton totalled £6,600,000.

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Tony Cadman (11/09/1986) of Alder Avenue, Widnes was found guilty of importing cannabis and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Drugs imported using the concealment in vegetable pallets North Manchester totalled £8,850,000.

The total value of drugs believed to have been imported by the organised crime group if sold on the street is £15,450,000.

Detective Sergeant Richard Castley of Greater Manchester Police’s serious organised crime group investigating team said: “Thanks to the excellent work of our officers and colleagues on partner forces and agencies, we have managed to bring down a vast drugs network.

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Scott Byrne (03/01/1987) of Sandlewood, Westhoughton was found guilty of importing cannabis and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

“These men were responsible for attempting to import enormous amounts of cannabis into the UK; the sale of which would have been used to further criminal enterprise.

“They even went to the expense of creating a large underground complex intended for cultivating the drug.

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Wales . Northern Ireland. The latest Independent Drug Monitoring Unit report suggests there are now as many as half a million people growing cannabis in the UK, which equates to roughly one on every street. Cannabis farms in spare rooms will have the tell-tale sign of curtains that never open.

“However the exceptional detective work of our investigation team was able to identify and dismantle this organised crime group.

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Drugs found in a car in a lock-up in Bolton

“Consignments packaged among lettuces or kitchen equipment were intercepted and prevented from finding their way onto our streets.

“Drugs blight communities and ruin lives.

"Their sale is used to further the activities of organised criminal gangs who have no regard for the safety of the public or the rule of law.

“Today the law caught up with these would-be kingpins and they have a long time behind bars to consider their foolishness.”

£15million drug gang built secret underground bunker on North Wales farm to grow cannabis © Greater Manchester Police Inside the bunker in North Wales used to store cannabis

The following people were sentenced for their roles in the operation:

Scott Byrne, 32, of Sandlewood, Westhoughton was found guilty of importing cannabis and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Michael Lawlor, 49, of Lewisham House, Kenton Close, Bolton was found guilty of importing cannabis and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Tony Cadman, 32, of Alder Avenue, Widnes was found guilty of importing cannabis and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Wesley Kinsella, 31, of Heatherfield, Bolton pleaded guilty to importing cannabis and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Lee Jackson, 38, of Bradmoor Road, Wirral, pleaded guilty to importing cannabis and was sentenced to nine years and four months in prison.

Michael Moore, 30, of Bog Farm, Eryrys, Mold pleaded guilty to production of cannabis on an industrial scale and was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.

Michael Harley, 34, of Bog Farm, Eryrys, Mold pleaded guilty to production of cannabis on an industrial scale and was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.

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Cannabis , also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes.

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