Man cleared of involvement in £400,000 drug factory
4:00pm Sunday 28th October 2012 in News
A man has been cleared of being involved in a cannabis factory at Neyland that could have produced drugs worth more than £400,000 a year.
Jason Robert Payne, aged 27, admitted staying at the property in High Street but denied knowing part of the house had been converted to grow cannabis plants.
Swansea crown court heard how police were alerted after a group of men inside Wetherspoons in Haverfordwest appeared to be swapping counterfeit £20 notes.
Police caught up with them in Eddies bar. The group included Payne and he was given a stop and search form and allowed to leave.
Officers kept watch on another member of the group and the following day saw him leave 41 High Street, Neyland, and approach a parked BMW, being driven by Payne.
A search of the car revealed 13.5grams of cannabis leaf and three large air filters.
When officers searched the house the man had just left, police found three of the rooms had been converted into a cannabis factory and that 204 plants were at various stages of growth.
The crop, said Ieuan Rees, prosecuting, could have been worth £101,000 on the streets and the operation could have produced four crops a year.
Officers also found air filters identical to the three found in the boot of Payne’s car and the stop and search notice that Payne, from Essex, had been issued with in Eddies bar.
Payne told police after his arrest he had stayed one night at the house but had not seen anything connected with cannabis production.
At the end of the prosecution case Judge Peter Heywood stopped the trial and said although Payne could be linked to the house there was no evidence he had played any part in growing cannabis.
A verdict of not guilty was entered.