Cannabis plant - four jailed

Massive underground cannabis growing bunkers were found hidden inside huge railway tunnels in North Wales in May.

Officially a mushroom growing business was being run at the disused Faenol Tunnels on the Menai Business Park at Bangor. But that was said to also be a front for a sophisticated cannabis business which had a potential annual turnover of two million pounds. 

North Wales Police made the discovery as part of Operation Gumshoe, when acting on information they raided the premises and found the hidden industrial sized cannabis laboratories. 

Inside a port cabin was a concealed trap door leading down through a tunnel to five large growing rooms - one of which had cannabis with an estimated street value of £225,000. But the potential annual turnover was between £1.5 million and £2 million. 

63 year old Retired builder and great granddad Gerald Davies from Craig y Don Road, in Bangor, and bankrupt Kenneth John Vincent who's 59 and a buildings designer from York Terrace in Beaumaris, were each jailed for thre years and four months having admitted producing cannabis and conspiring to supply the class B drug. 

Two other men, who worked as gardeners at the tunnels periodically - 22 year old Philip Joseph Bigley of Cottage Close in Liverpool and 30 year old Christopher James McIntyre from Appleby Drive in Bootle, received 12 months each after they admitted production charges. 

There was no evidence that any cannabis had left the site. 

"The project was intended to be a long term concern, capable of providing a multi million pound profit for criminal gangs in the North Western region," a police statement said. 

Following sentence Supt Peter Newton Divisional Commander for Gwynedd and Ynys Mon said: "I welcome the sentence and hope this sends a clear warning to all those involved in, or contemplating the production and supply of controlled drugs that the Courts, Police and people of North Wales will not tolerate the menace of drugs and it’s associated crime and the dealers who pray upon our communities."

"It is clear this group of criminals went to extreme and complex lengths not just to manufacture and set up the factory but also the work undertaken to conceal their illegal activity. I am also confident this also shows that no matter how complex and clandestine drugs dealers think they are being we have the resources, technology and determination to find them out. They will be caught and they will go to prison and have plenty of time to contemplate their chosen lifestyle."