Cannabis factory gardener caught at house in Heather Road, Knighton Fields, Leicester
An illegal immigrant who tended more than 200 plants in a cannabis factory has been jailed for eight months.
Vietnamese national Huy Le (27) was caught when gas officials called to Heather Road, in Knighton Fields, Leicester, because of unpaid bills.
They entered the premises on January 17 and found the house had been converted for cannabis growing.
Neil Bannister, prosecuting, said: "The defendant emerged, coming down the stairs.
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"He was asked to remain at the property while the police attended, but he left and walked off towards Welford Road. The police arrested him nearby."
There were 203 plants in various stages of growth, but no figure was given in court for the value of the crop.
Mr Bannister said the windows had been covered and cultivation equipment installed.
The electricity meter had been bypassed.
Le, of no fixed address, admitted being recruited as a gardener to look after the plants.
He said he did not know what he was doing was illegal, Leicester Crown Court was told.
Shital Modhwadia, mitigating, said: "He came here illegally on the back of a lorry.
"He was taken to Leicester two weeks before his arrest and was given clear instructions.
"He was given food but didn't have any links with anyone in particular."
Judge Michael Pert QC said: "This was a relatively sophisticated operation. It was almost certainly the work of an organised crime group.
"I sentence you, not as anyone involved in that crime group, but as the person entrusted in the growing of 203 cannabis plants in that operation."