Men sentenced after discovery of cannabis factory in Occold

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Three men have been sentenced after pleading guilty to producing a 2,000 plant cannabis factory in Occold.

Stephen Carpenter, 50, of Holly Avenue, Stanmore, Middlesex; Steven Duggan, aged 44, of Lullingstone Crescent, Orpington, Kent; Lee Denton, aged 32, of Madan Road, Westerham, Kent, all appeared at Ipswich Crown Court today.

Stephen Carpenter

Stephen Carpenter

Carpenter and Duggan both pleaded guilty to the production of cannabis and were sentenced to 34 months’ imprisonment.

The men were arrested after officers from the Suffolk Drugs Team and proactive Scorpion teams, executed a warrant at a farm building in the village on January 6, 2016. More than 2,400 cannabis plants were found to be growing there in three rooms.

The plants and a considerable amount of growing equipment were seized. It was estimated that the cannabis found could have an estimated street value of £530,000 to £1,500,000.

Denton initially denied the offence but later changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment.

Lee Denton

Lee Denton

Detective Inspector Andrew Smethurst said: “Considerable effort had gone into the set-up of this factory, with three carefully constructed rooms that held large grows of cannabis at differing stages.

“This was a significant amount of cannabis that we have halted before it made it to the streets, and I welcome the sentence imposed by the judge. We do not tolerate drug cultivation or supply within Suffolk and remain committed to tackling those responsible for such activity.”

Steven Duggan

Steven Duggan