THREE men have been jailed for their role in a ‘professional and sophisticated’ cannabis operation that could have netted the trio more than £325,000.
Christopher Squires, 45, of Cemetery Road, his brother Robert Squires, 49, of Powell Street, and Simon Field, 45, of Windsor Gardens, Earlsheaton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce cannabis at an earlier hearing, Leeds Crown Court heard this week.
In a large scale police operation, surveillance teams monitored the Squires brothers who were seen travelling between locations over a period of weeks. The trio used several houses across Heckmondwike to produce almost 2,000 plants.
Large quantities of cash, cannabis, growing equipment and tools were seized during the raids, with more than 1,000 plants recovered from a house in Powell Street belonging to the older Squires brother.
Further searches of properties in Commonside, Longfield Road and Cemetery Road unearthed a large scale growing operation, in which prosecutor Margaret Taylor said Christopher Squires had played a ‘significant part’,
It is believed that the operation began with the two brothers who experienced financial hardship after the economic downturn of 2008. Field’s involvement became apparent when police found a letter implicating him during the raids.
Both brothers were described as men of previous good character and had never appeared in court before. Field had six previous offences, the last being over a decade ago.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: “This is a professional and sophisticated enterprise, designed to put on the street vast quantities of cannabis. There has to be a significant and immediate custodial sentence.”
Christopher Squires was jailed for five years and three months, Robert was jailed for four-and-a-half years and Field for 27 months.