Drug gang ran £2m cannabis operation in Wakefield

A gang that ran a cannabis farm capable of producing £2m worth of the drug each year has been jailed for a total of 53 years.

The 12 men were caught after being linked by police surveillance and forensics to a cannabis farm in a property on Holmfield Lane, Wakefield.

It was busted in July 2012.

At Leeds Crown Court today (Tuesday) they were sentenced for jointly conspiring to produce cannabis between 8 November, 2011, and 18 July, 2012.

Detective Inspector Neil Hollis, of Protective Services Crime, said: “These men were involved in a highly organised set-up with the capacity to produce millions of pounds worth of cannabis.

“When the premises were 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 the men had spent significant amounts of time at the property and were all known to each other.

“Following today’s sentencing, we will be pursuing confiscation proceedings against the defendants to ensure that the profits these men gained as a result of their criminal activity are put back in to our communities.”

Jamie Coolican, 37, of Whitehouse Lane, Great Preston, Leeds, who was found guilty following trial, was sentenced to 7 years 6 months.

Anthony Stewart, 41, of Hall Cliffe Crescent, Horbury, who was found guilty following trial, was sentenced to 8 years 3 months.

Jeremy O’Connor, 31, of Thorn Drive, Leeds, who was found guilty following trial, was sentenced to 5 years.

Scott Harland, 27, of Exmouth Place, Bradford, who was found guilty following trial, was sentenced to 3 years 6 months.

Rhys Iwanzchuk, 23, of Ridgeway, Shipley, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to 2 years.

Andrew Kaye, 39, of Coronation Parade, Leeds, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to 3 years 4 months.

Christian Kaye, 35, of Pinfold Grove, Leeds, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to 3 years 8 months.

Michael Kaye, 56, of Coronation Parade, Leeds, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to 4 years.

Ian Green, 24, of Rowton Thorpe, Bradford, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to 5 years 6 months.

Nicholas Coleman, 28, of Temple Avenue, Leeds, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to 2 years 4 months.

Sam Shackleton, 23, of Fourlands Road, Bradford, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to 2 years 4 months.

Aiden Panwar, 31, of High Street Place, Idle, who pleaded guilty to the charge, was sentenced to 5 years 3 months.