Drug growing gang jailed for nine years

Craig Davies
Craig Davies

A DRUG growing gang that controlled a network of five farms have been jailed for a total of nine years.

Cannabis worth an estimated £130,000 was found at properties in Agbrigg, East Ardsley, and Huddersfield.

Police estimated £47,000 worth of crops had already been harvested and another worth £20,571 could have also been grown.

Ringleader Craig Davies, 37, of Bradford Road, Wakefield, was jailed for four years and two months at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to produce and supply controlled drugs.

He ran a property firm and employed Scott Noble, 31, of Eastville Road, Sharlston, and Lee Horton, 31, of Halfpenny Lane, Featherstone, as maintenance men but they were actually running the cannabis farms.

Horton and Noble were both jailed for two years and five months after also pleading guilty to conspiracy to produce and supply controlled drugs.

Temporary Det Chief Insp Fran Naughton, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “We have prevented large amounts of drugs from reaching the streets of Wakefield.

“Not only were these people irresponsible in growing the drugs, they also put local residents at huge risk – the equipment to grow the cannabis was extensive and hazardous.”

The police investigation began in October 2009 as part of Operation Grassland – a long running campaign to rid Wakefield’s streets of drugs.

Davies, Horton and Noble were arrested last August and jailed last Thursday.

Chief Superintendent Marc Callaghan, Wakefield District Police Divisional Commander, said: “I am pleased that Operation Grassland continues to make an impact on local communities disrupted by people peddling drugs.

To contact police call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.