TWO illegal immigrants are facing deportation after convicted of gardening huge cannabis factory.
The factory on the outskirts of Stourport was one of the biggest cannabis growing operations ever discovered in the West Mercia Police force area, producing a yield worth between £1.15 million and £2.3 million per year.
Quan Vo, aged 22, and Quang Nguyen, 34, both of no fixed address, were each sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison when they appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Monday.
In an earlier hearing they had admitted their crime of production of cannabis.
Deportation notices were also served upon them by the court which means they will be forced to leave the country on completion of their sentences.
More than 1,400 cannabis plants were discovered at a unit off Barracks Road on the Sandy Lane Industrial Estate in the early hours of February 7 after a member of the public reported to the police of suspicious activity which initially was thought to be theft of fuel.
But after finding people at the scene officers entered a unit and found the cannabis along with a sophisticated growing operation.
Following sentencing Detective Inspector Carl Moore said it was a massive cannabis factory, one of the biggest that they had ever seen.
An expert estimated that it would have been producing a yield worth between £1.15 million and £2.3 million per year giving some indication of the scale of the criminal
He thanked the member of the public and also praised the officers for continuing their search after finding no sign of fuel theft.
Vo and Nguyen were near the bottom of the production chain, their job was simply to tend the crop. Despite being positioned low their sentences were illustration how seriously the courts took this kind of illegal growing operation.
The organised supply of controlled drugs is one of the known elements of serious criminality and a driver for other types of acquisitive crime. It causes serious harm to communities.
Another 11 men and a woman who were also arrested in connection with the discovery of the cannabis factory remain on police bail.