Two men have been locked up after a police raid uncovered up to £1 million worth of cannabis plants in a village.
The drugs farm containing 2,796 cannabis plants was discovered in a factory outbuilding and cottage in Lynn Lane, Shenstone, near Lichfield.
The drugs had a street value of between £750,000 and £1m.
Vietnamese nationals Ngoc Pham, aged 19, and Dinh Hao Nguygen, 23, pleaded guilty at Stafford Crown Court to producing class B drugs. Pham was sentenced to 22 months in a young offenders’ institute, while Nguygen was jailed for 20 months. They were ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge each.
Staffordshire Police carried out the raid on June 2. After the hearing, Martin Lindop, sector Crown prosecutor for the case, said: “When the police arrived, both men ran off and were chased by officers and police dogs through a field before being caught. Pham told officers he had come to England in a container and that he had left Vietnam because he owed money.
“He said he then owed money to the people who had brought him to England, so he was working to pay it off – although he claimed he was a cook.
“Nguygen said he had been in the UK since 2009 after arriving in the country illegally. He was detained at some point at a detention centre but he ran away.
“He said because he had no money he had been offered a job growing vegetables. He said when he saw what he was being grown he asked to leave but was threatened by three men in balaclavas.”