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Trio made more than £250,000 from Flintshire cannabis factory

THREE men jailed for growing cannabis in a Flintshire cottage had collectively made more than a quarter of a million pounds from the operation, it has been revealed.

Andrew Hemus, 41, of Forest Walk, Buckley, was jailed for five years last October after a cannabis factory was found growing in a cottage he owned, Keeper’s Cottage in the village of Cymau.

The cannabis factory was found to have 174 plants of various maturity. If they had all developed, the potential yield was 4.8kg, worth about £34,000 in street deals, while the three men had collectively made £253,865.

Paul Halliday, 37, of Hoole Lane, Chester and Kieron Molloy, 23, of Pine Grove, Chester, were each jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Now Halliday has been ordered to pay £16,800 within six months under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

Halliday, who made a total of £149,365 from the operation, will face 12 more months in jail if he fails to pay the sum.

Agreed POCA orders made by Judge Philip Hughes showed Hemus made £69,000 and Molloy made £35,500 from the illegal growing operation. Hemus and Molloy were made subject of £1 nominal confiscation orders.

But the orders mean if they come into funds in the future from, for example, a lottery win or an inheritance, the prosecution can go after them for the remainder of the cash.