North West Wales

Three face jail over £14m Bangor cannabis factory

Three men face prison after they were found guilty of helping run an alleged £14m cannabis factory.

Nicholas Pritchard, 37, of Y Felinheli, Gwynedd, and twins Keith and Mark Reid, 49, of Anglesey, were convicted of conspiracy to produce cannabis.

Caernarfon Crown Court heard that the factory in Bangor, Gwynedd, was of "Amazonian proportions".

Nightclub owner Pritchard, and the Reid brothers, who are builders, were remanded on bail on Monday for reports.

The 18-day trial also saw the men convicted of money laundering by letting or converting buildings to be used as factories.

During the hearing Judge Merfyn Hughes QC praised a temporary detective constable whose work uncovered the drugs racket at the old Jewson's site in High Street, Bangor.

Dc Paul Byron, 26, who though "relatively inexperienced" had conducted the investigation "in an exemplary manner," the judge said.

Dc Byron's investigations led to 11,000 plants being discovered at the site.

The court was told thousands more were located elsewhere, with an alleged total value of nearly £14m.

Judge Hughes asked for his compliments about DC Byron's work to be passed to the chief constable of North Wales, Mark Polin.

Judge Hughes warned them they are facing jail, and they will also face a proceeds of crime inquiry to try to claim back some of the money they made through the operation.

The judge told them that although they were not the main organisers they assisted the enterprise.

In earlier cases 17 Chinese and three Vietnamese people were convicted, one of the leaders receiving nine years and another five years imprisonment.

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