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Blyth cannabis farm worth over £100,000 was taken over by an illegal immigrant UK News

An illegal immigrant was tending a large cannabis farm in the North East with days of arrival in the UK on a small boat.

Trung Phan arrived in Dover on May 28 last year and was taken to an immigration center and then transferred to Home Office accommodation in London.

But with the help of underworld contacts he managed to get to Newcastle the same day and on June 12 he was living on a cannabis farm on Cowpen Road in Blyth, Northumberland.

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Despite being surrounded by 325 factories, worth up to £129,000, he ‘ridiculously’ claimed he didn’t realize he was living in the middle of a drug factory.

The Cannabis Farm on the Cowpen Road property
The Cannabis Farm on the Cowpen Road property

A jury found the 39-year-old guilty of being involved in cannabis production and he has now been jailed for 18 months.

Newcastle Crown Court heard it was a sophisticated setup, which had been established before Phan’s involvement.

There were four different growing areas and the electricity supply had been bypassed.

When the police raided, Phan was there alone and tried to escape and hide cell phones and a list of phone numbers.

Sentencing him, Judge Paul Sloan QC said: “You claimed you were unaware you were living in the middle of a cannabis farm and had done nothing to help the production.

“The jury rejected that account, which was patently ridiculous, and convicted you.”

Trung Phan

The judge added: “You were not threatened or forced to get involved.

“You clearly had organized crime links long before you came to this jurisdiction and quickly made contact with gang members once in London.

“That said, you played a small role in this particular endeavor.”

Defending Peter Schofield said he had “crossed Europe from home” and played a limited role in the cannabis farm.

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