Owner of underground cannabis factory jailed

A businessman who ran an underground cannabis factory buried under a barn on his father’s farm has been jailed.

Cops discovered the crop in five shipping containers buried beneath the building, a court heard.

Daniel Palmer, of Hatherleigh, in Devon, England, was jailed for five years after he was found guilty of producing cannabis after a trial at Exeter Crown Court, the BBC reports.

Police had seized skunk cannabis worth £384,000.

Judge Paul Cook at Taunton Crown Court sentenced Palmer, 40, to six years and three months in prison.

Prosecution barrister Simon Burns told the court Palmer had a previous conviction for growing cannabis at a different location 18 years ago.

A concealed trapdoor was the entrance to the underground farm. Devon and Cornwall Police

In mitigation, defence barrister Nicolas Gerasimides said Palmer did not spearhead the operation.

He said a man named Stephen Parker was the kingpin but police did not know where he was.

An order was made to destroy the drugs and a proceeds of crime hearing will take place in January to establish how much money the farm made, and what happened to the cash.

The entrance to the site, which is obscured by woodland, was hidden beneath farm machinery and sacks of fertiliser.

Palmer, who owns a log cabin business based on a different part of Easter Hall Park near Okehampton, Devon, claimed items containing his DNA were in the underground facility because growers who rented the land from his father picked them up.

He also claims they set up the operation without his knowledge.

In the UK, Cannabis is a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, which means it’s illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.

Possession is punishable by up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both, while supplying and producing it can land offenders inside for up to 14 years and/or an unlimited fine.