Criminal gains payback from garden cannabis factoryPublished 02/04/2013 03:08:53 PM
A man who ran a cannabis factory hidden twelve feet under his back garden has been ordered to pay back his criminal gains.
David Mundy (born 29/12/1958), of Barr Hill Avenue, Salford, was convicted of production of a Class B drug on 24 July 2012.
On 15 August 2012, he was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, to 15 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.
Police executed a warrant under the Misuse of Drugs Act at Mundy's home on 25 October 2011.
Following a lengthy search by officers, they discovered the underground cannabis farm buried 12 feet below his back garden, which ran under the surface of the hillside on the East Lancashire Road.
The access to the underground drugs den was via a paving flag which revealed a set of ladders down to the farm itself.
17 plants were found with a street value of more than £8,000.
On 4 February 2013, a confiscation hearing was held under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square, where it was determined Mundy had benefitted from his criminal lifestyle to the tune of £13,480 and ordered to pay back £13,480 within six months from his available assets.
Failure to satisfy the order will mean Mundy will serve a 12-month jail sentence and still have to pay back the funds.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Riddick said: "Mundy went to considerable lengths - quite literally - to keep his cannabis farm hidden.
"What we discovered was an underground drugs den housed within a storage unit, and must have taken him many hours to build, hours that should have been spent earning his money legitimately like the rest of us do.
"Thanks to Proceeds of Crime Act legislation, we are now able to ensure that people like Mundy cannot profit from their criminal endeavours.
"Greater Manchester Police employs specialist financial investigations who painstakingly trawl through offender's records to find evidence of a lifestyle funded by criminality, and we will claw that money back.
"The message is clear: if you think you can bury your criminality underground, you are burying your head in the sand because we will find you and we will do everything we can to take away not only your liberty but also your illegally accumulated wealth."