Man in court over cannabis farm

A VIETNAMESE national who admitted cultivating cannabis plants with an estimated street value of €120,000 was ordered to leave the country and never return at Kilkenny Court.

A VIETNAMESE national who admitted cultivating cannabis plants with an estimated street value of €120,000 was ordered to leave the country and never return at Kilkenny Court.

Sam Hung of no fixed abode admitted having drugs in his possession and drugs for sale and supply at Ballymorris, Mullinavat on June 16. Sergeant Stephen Delaney told the court that the property was searched on the date in question as part of an ongoing surveillance operation. “As part of the surveillance operation a car was seen leaving the address. We followed the car to an address at Dunmore East and obtained two warrants and both premises were entered. At the house in Ballymorris 300 cannabis plants were found at various stages of cultivation. The defendant was arrested at Dunmore East and was interviews three times in custody and admitted to cultivating the plants. Approximately 100 plants were at full maturity and the overall value of the drugs is estimated to be between €106,000 and €120,000.

“It was a sophisticated operation and holes had been drilled to bypass electricity and they had tapped into the live electricity feed. The rooms were decked out with lights and the defendant said during interview that he had set up the situation and had watered and cultivated the plants. The owner of the property is a local businessman and he knew nothing about it and had leased the house through a letting agency. The only damage to the house was the hole in the wall,” said the sergeant.

Sgt Delaney told the court that the defendant had been brought to the country to see to the plants and is at the ‘lower level’ of the drugs hierarchy. “He has not accumulated any wealthy and had no possessions whatsoever. Everything was brought to him in the house and he has no passport,” he added.

Judge Tom Teehan imposed a two-year sentence which he suspended on condition that the defendant leave Ireland immediately and never return to the jurisdiction.