Four jailed over £13m Everton high-rise cannabis farm
Four men who ran a £13m cannabis farm across three floors of a Liverpool tower block have been jailed.
More than 2,000 plants were seized from eight flats in Candia Towers on Jason Street in Everton in June.
The farm was discovered after a passing police officer noticed a strong smell of cannabis from the street outside.
The Vietnamese men admitted cultivating the drug and were each sentenced to three years four months in prison at Liverpool Crown Court.
Le Ban Nam, 50, of Candida Towers, and Thanh Duc Dong, 50, Doan Xuan Quynh, 40, and Van Ntuyen, 36, all of no fixed abode, were also told they would be deported at the end of their prison terms.
The neighbourhood officer, who noticed the smell while on patrol, raised the alarm after seeing sheeting on the windows of a fifth floor flat.
Police forced the doors of that and other flats on the fifth, sixth and 12th floors and found cannabis growing in bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas.
The four men were found hiding among the plants.
Liverpool Crown Court heard the farm had the potential to produce five crops every year, worth an estimated £13m.
Judge Andrew Hatton said it was "cannabis production on an industrial scale", producing significant amounts via "a sophisticated and professional set-up".
Speaking after sentencing, Ch Insp Matt Boyle said it was "one of the biggest cannabis farms ever discovered here in Merseyside".
He added that the case "goes to show how a suspicious smell can lead to the discovery of major criminal activity".