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Men turned United Kingdom nuke bunker into weed farm

Men turned United Kingdom nuke bunker into weed farm”

Three men who turned a former MoD underground nuclear bunker into a factory capable of producing £2 million worth of cannabis a year were jailed for up to eight years on Friday.

Martin Fillery, 45, Ross Winter, 30, and Plamen Nguyen, 27, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce class B drugs.

Martin Fillery, 46, had written a screenplay about cannabis production before he joined the £2m-a-year criminal enterprise at the Regional General Headquarters (RGHQ) in Chilmark, Wiltshire.

The nuclear bunker was decommissioned in in 1990s, but originally was for important military personnel in the event of a nuclear war.

Fillery, Winter and Nguyen locked "gardeners" inside so that they could see to their plants 24 hours a day, with nearly every room inside the bunker transformed into a space to grow cannabis or get it ready to sell.

When they raided on February 22 this year they found three Vietnamese men "locked in" to a room in the bunker who "worked as gardeners".

Mr Thomas said that about 20kg of harvested and dried cannabis was also found with a value of about £99,000 (NZ$174,885).

The defendants initially faced charges of conspiring to hold another person in slavery/servitude but the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence, police said. It's also the spiritual home for Wiltshire as Salisbury Cathedral is built from Chilmark stone.

A Cold War nuclear bunker in an isolated area of southwest England was home to a huge cannabis farm, thought to have been operating since 2013.

The gang kept up their covert operation by bypassing the mains supply and siphoning power from a pylon outside, illegally using £650,000 worth of electricity.

Amanda Sawetz, from the CPS, said: "This was a high-value cannabis farm hidden from sight in a disused nuclear bunker".

Fillery, of Ashcott, Bridgwater, Somerset, was also sentenced for possessing criminal property after police found movie memorabilia worth £1m at his home.

He said that Winter, a motor mechanic, had become a father for the first time while in custody awaiting sentence and added: "The sense of regret he feels at being absent from her birth is impossible to express".

Police had staked out the building in Wiltshire for almost a month before raiding the property A staggering total of 6,500 used plants was uncovered by officers at the building - originally created to house key officials in a nuclear attack Detective Inspector Simon Pope said: 'This investigation has been a significant undertaking by Wiltshire Police into a highly profitable criminal enterprise and I am delighted all the hard work has paid off'.

Detective Inspector Simon Pope, of Wiltshire Police, called it an "enormous and sophisticated" operation, which was set to become "a highly profitable criminal enterprise". "This was a significant undertaking for our force and I am glad that all the hard work by all those involved has contributed to taking a large quantity of harmful drugs off our streets".

And though it is no longer owned by the Ministry of Defence, the bunker is still fully functional and, according to police, "almost completely impenetrable".



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