A Pole who set up a ‘DIY’ cannabis factory in his Bedford home was jailed for 3 years today/Tuesday.
Pawel Biej, 32, may face deportation when he has served his sentence because the Home Office are now coming down hard on offenders, his lawyer said.
Police arrested Biej, who has a girlfriend and child in Bedford, after going to their home in Houghton Road on 12 August last year to arrest another man on a European Arrest Warrant.
Prosecutor Peter Shaw told Luton Crown Court that the man they were looking for was not there, but the police noticed “a potent cannabis smell.”
He said: “One officer went into a room and immediately recognised a cannabis factory.
“There were hydroponics, lighting and a ventilation system. There were a large number of cannabis plants at varying stages of growth. A similar cultivation set up was found in another room. The electricity meter had been bypassed.”
In all, 186 cannabis plant were discovered that would have yielded between £17,000 and £52,000 in street deals.
Biej’s phone was examined, which showed he was dealing mainly to Polish compatriots.
When he was questioned by the police, he said he had been in the UK for 4 and a half years. He said his girlfriend told him to get rid of drugs.
He said he had bought £250 worth of seeds on eBay, his lighting system, that he put on for 12 hours a day, cost him £150 at a car boot sale.
He started growing cannabis at the end of March or the beginning of April and had produced one crop.
Biej pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis. He had previous convictions in Poland for burglary, making off with payment, thefts and giving a false statement.
In 2008 he was jailed at Swansea crown court for eight months for perverting the course of justice.
Defending, Andrew Morton said: “The defendant did this as a DIY project. His advice came from Internet. He was growing the plants on a trial and error basis. “He appears to have been supplying to his compatriots. There were no pricing and no menu. It was not a large scale commercial supply.”
Mr Morton said Biej expressed his regret in the police interview.
He went on: “He is at a real risk of deportation. The Home office is coming down heavy on offenders in his position. Even short sentences result in deportation, which would put paid to relationship with girlfriend.”
He said Biej wanted to address his dependency on cannabis.
Jailing him, Recorder Patrick Fields said: “You are dependent upon cannabis and I accept your initial motivation was to grow your own, but the scale of the operation leads to the conclusion you were growing the plants to supply but supplying on a wider basis.”