Estate agent uncovered 300 plant cannabis farm in Darlington home

A MAJOR cannabis farm was shut down by police when an estate agent uncovered almost 300 plants during a routine property inspection, a court heard.

Officers found an address in Baydale Road, Darlington, had been turned into a farm, in May, which led to the capture of two of its alleged ringleaders Lam Hai Vo, 58, and Anh Ta Nguyen, 21.

Teesside Crown Court heard the pair were caught by police after arriving at the property in Mr Hai Vo’s Vauxhall Zafira, with a boot full of liquid fertliser, £1,000 cash and two small bags of cannabis.

Mr Hai Vo and Mr Ta Nguyen, originally of Vietnam, both deny producing class B drugs, and claim they don’t know each other.

The court heard Mr Hai Vo, latterly of Lewisham, South London, thought the goods in his car were to be used to start a new Darlington takeaway.

Mr Ta Nguyen, of no fixed address, told police he believed he was being driven to Manchester by Mr Hai Vo to meet his girlfriend, and had no knowledge of Darlington or the cannabis farm.

Ian West, prosecuting, said the pair were part of a larger organisational ladder which was producing cannabis at Baydale Road and at another address in North Road, Darlington.

He said: “They were not gardeners, their role was somewhat higher up the management chain of a cannabis enterprise where the two houses had been turned into farms.

“If you get it right, you can get a lot of plants in one house, and that is what was going on here.

“ The two houses were both rented, and an agent acting on behalf of the landlord went to Bagdale Road for a routine visit.

“The locks on a bedroom door had been changed, and when a locksmith opened it, police found nearly 300 plants.

“They were both arrested outside the property, Mr Ta Nguyen while they waited for another man to enter the address.

“They also sent each other a number of text messages, which suggests their relationship was more than what they claim it was.”

The trial continues.

Comments (3)

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1:22pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Babs Stanley says...

Today Colorado and Washington state legalised cannabis for adults!

Are we so stupid in Britain that we cannot learn the lessons of history? If we prohibit something for which there is huge demand then the price rises and violent criminals become involved.

If we introduced a legally regulated system we would solve nearly all the problems around cannabis. Science proves how much safer it is than tobacco, alcohol, prescription medicines and all other recreational drugs. The evidence is that where legal regulation is introduced, consumption by children and health harms are reduced.

Doctors would be able to prescribe one of the most effective medicines that has no serious side effects at all. At the moment the government has given GW Pharmaceuticals an illegal monopoly on cannabis so they make millions out of a medicine that you can grow in your greenhouse for virtually nothing

Our present policy on cannabis is irrational, irresponsible and dangerous. Now, the inevitable change will begin to roll out across the world.
Today Colorado and Washington state legalised cannabis for adults! Are we so stupid in Britain that we cannot learn the lessons of history? If we prohibit something for which there is huge demand then the price rises and violent criminals become involved. If we introduced a legally regulated system we would solve nearly all the problems around cannabis. Science proves how much safer it is than tobacco, alcohol, prescription medicines and all other recreational drugs. The evidence is that where legal regulation is introduced, consumption by children and health harms are reduced. Doctors would be able to prescribe one of the most effective medicines that has no serious side effects at all. At the moment the government has given GW Pharmaceuticals an illegal monopoly on cannabis so they make millions out of a medicine that you can grow in your greenhouse for virtually nothing Our present policy on cannabis is irrational, irresponsible and dangerous. Now, the inevitable change will begin to roll out across the world. Babs Stanley
  • Score: 2

2:56pm Wed 7 Nov 12

jmc111 says...

This isn't a problem in countries with an up to date, evidence based and progressive policy in relation to Cannabis. For example, Portugal, Holland, and now several states in the US which have legalised the plant.

Great job Cameron, you're gifting a huge market (while cutting every public service and funding possible) to drug lords instead of raking in the money and allowing adults to be adults.

Drug war = failure
This isn't a problem in countries with an up to date, evidence based and progressive policy in relation to Cannabis. For example, Portugal, Holland, and now several states in the US which have legalised the plant. Great job Cameron, you're gifting a huge market (while cutting every public service and funding possible) to drug lords instead of raking in the money and allowing adults to be adults. Drug war = failure jmc111
  • Score: 2

5:33pm Wed 7 Nov 12

SuperSilverSourDiesel says...

Bringing cannabis into a regulated system will see drug use drop and age of first use rise. Associated crimes will decline along with the amount of dealers selling it. It would save the tax payer billions while enriching the economy from taxes, while the black market is delivered a serious blow. Prevention and therapy is cheaper and more effective than prohibition.
Bringing cannabis into a regulated system will see drug use drop and age of first use rise. Associated crimes will decline along with the amount of dealers selling it. It would save the tax payer billions while enriching the economy from taxes, while the black market is delivered a serious blow. Prevention and therapy is cheaper and more effective than prohibition. SuperSilverSourDiesel
  • Score: 2

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