A GANG of six who cultivated skunk cannabis in secret across West Yorkshire are behind bars.
The five men and one woman started prison sentences yesterday after setting up drugs factories in Huddersfield, Bradford and Leeds.
Five of them are Vietnamese while the other is from China.
All were caught by drugs squad officers after a lengthy investigation lasting over 12 months into large scale skunk cannabis production.
At Bradford Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Rose sentenced them to a total of 17 years 8 months for conspiracy to produce cannabis, and two of them for money laundering.
The organised group were arrested by officers in March last year after they spotted a man wanted in connection with a cannabis factory in Girlington, Bradford. They followed him to a property on Claremont Road in Wrose and found five other people.
Officers searched the house and found plant fertilisers, compost, electrical items and rental agreements and rent books for a number of other addresses.
These addresses were subsequently searched and found to be cannabis factories, including one in Huddersfield.
The ringleaders were:
Chi Lam Hoang (5 years 6 months) and Thai Nguyen Thai Nguyen (3 years 6 months), who were convicted of conspiracy to produce cannabis and money laundering.
The others jailed were Nang Nguyen (2 years), Huy Van Phan (2 years 4 months), Thong Nguyen (2 years) and Mai Nguyen (2 years 4 months) on conspiracy charges.
Det Insp Neil Benstead said: “We welcome the convictions. This group were clearly well organised and their arrests and convictions has led to the numbers of factories being discovered across the district reducing. This was cultivation on a commercial scale with massive profits for those at the top of the organisation”.