South West Wales

Cannabis farm man Ernest Lewis must pay £200,000

A man who owned a string of properties in Carmarthenshire used as cannabis farms has been told he must pay over £200,000 or spend more time in jail.

Ernest John Lewis, aged 58, of Porthyrhyd near Carmarthen, is currently serving a six-year sentence.

A proceeds of crime hearing was told police found drugs with a street value of £195,000 at houses near Carmarthen and in Llandeilo and Cwmavon.

Lewis must pay £203,293 or serve an additional two years and nine months.

The order was made by Judge Keith Thomas at Swansea Crown Court who told Lewis he had six months to pay up.

The court heard Lewis allowed some of the houses to be converted for cannabis plant growing.

Arrested

When police found the plants and arrested him, they discovered he had lied on a mortgage application.

Lewis was arrested with four others when the body of Kim Van Tran, a Vietnamese national, was found dumped near Five Roads in Carmarthenshire in May 2009.

It is believed he was working as a "gardener" at a cannabis factory in a domestic property in the village of Porthyrhyd when he was accidentally electrocuted.

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