Drug farmer jailed after years on run

The cannabis farm in Great Horton, which was tended by Hai Ngo

The cannabis farm in Great Horton, which was tended by Hai Ngo

First published in Bradford by , T&A Reporter

Police today warned they will relentlessly track down drugs criminals after an illegal immigrant was captured and jailed more than three years after fleeing a £34,000 cannabis factory in Bradford.

Illegal Vietnamese immigrant Hai Ngo was arrested in Birmingham last month and linked to a house in Clover Street, Great Horton, by his fingerprints, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Drugs squad officers seized 100 cannabis plants from the address, along with fertiliser, bags of cannabis waste and lighting equipment, when they raided it on July 24, 2008.

Ngo, 25, who pleaded guilty to production of cannabis, was jailed for 20 months.

Judge John Potter told him he was likely to be deported after he had served his sentence.

After the case, Detective Inspector Neil Benstead, head of the Bradford District Drugs Team, said: “We are relentless in the pursuit of those who bring misery to the streets of Bradford, whether it be through the sale or production of drugs.

“In this particular case, we have been able to bring Ngo to justice three years since he committed the offence.Working closely alongside the local Neighbourhood Policing Teams, we have experienced some considerable success in locating cannabis farms and making arrests. This is in no small part due to the information we continue to receive from our communities.

“We still need people to be our eyes and ears. If you suspect drugs-related activity is taking place in your area, please contact us and we will act.”

Ngo told the police he fled the Bradford house in fear because people were trying to break into it.

The court heard that officers discovered cannabis plants with a potential value of more than £34,000 in the cellar.

Eight bags of fertiliser were seized and eight bin liners stuffed with cannabis waste.

Ngo told the police he was taken to the house and ordered to nurture the cannabis seedlings. He claimed he did not realise the crop was illegal until he looked it up on the internet.

Ngo said he paid 9,000 euros to be illegally smuggled into the UK in a lorry from France.

His barrister, Giles Bridge, said Ngo came from a poor family in Vietnam where he was a fisherman.

His family was now landed with the debt to the smuggling gang.

Anyone with information about drug activity is urged to call the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.

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