Cottingley man jailed for part in drugs gang
A COTTINGLEY man was one of a gang of six jailed for conspiracy to cultivate and distribute cannabis on an industrial scale with a street value of £630,000.
David Graham, 26, of Cottingley Drive, was sentenced to five years at Leeds Crown Court on Friday.
As part of a police operation, officers searched 16 addresses in Leeds, Heckmondwike, Houghton-Le-Springs and Blackpool between August 11 and September 20 last year and recovered almost 2,000 cannabis plants.
Kirstie Watson prosecuting said police raided a house on John Street, Heckmondwike, on August 11 last year and found two large rooms adapted for growing cannabis.
In the main growing room 740 plants were seized while in the second, used as a nursery or propagation room 560 juvenile plants and five “mother” plants were found. The potential yield would have a total street value of £452,571.
On September 19, police searched a house on Park Crescent in Armley and found six of the seven rooms adapted for cultivation, with 722 immature plants found with an estimated street value of £181,000 but conditions suggested an earlier crop had been harvested there.
Miss Watson said that on August 4 police had recovered 113 bags containing soil, root balls, plastic sheets, plants stalks and compost bags, dumped on waste land in Brown Lane East in Holbeck, consistant with such a harvest.
Judge Geoffrey Mason QC said the scheme involved significant expenditure and planning in order to produce “vast quantities” of cannabis.
All six men were all charged with conspiracy to cultivate cannabis.
David Graham was sentenced to five years, three months in prison. Adrian Dickinson was sentenced to six years. John Paul Newman, 37, of Stonegate Gardens, Meanwood, four years, three months, Aaron Dickinson, 25, of Withnell Road, Blackpool received a four year, six month sentence, Carl Garrity, 32, of Templegate Avenue, Temple Newsam, two years, three months and James Weaver, 31, of Sycamore Row, Rodley, two years,
A 35-year-old Leeds man was found not guilty following a trial in July.
Det Insp Warren Stevenson of West Yorkshire Police’s Crime Division said: “These men created a network to allow the for cultivation and distribution of cannabis on an industrial scale.
“Each member of the gang had their own individual roles to play as they carried out this illegal enterprise in order to make a substantial amount of money for their own personal gains.
“West Yorkshire Police will continue to mount operations such as these to remove those who think they are above the law and bring misery to local communities through drugs and other associated crimes.”
In addition, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, three vehicles, an Audi, a BMW and a Transit van, along with £5,000 cash were forfeited to West Yorkshire Police.
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