Drug factory couple forced to pay back

A couple who were jailed for ten years for running cannabis factories in four counties - including one in South Normanton – have been ordered to pay back more than £450,000 of their ill-gotten gains.

The order was imposed on Thi Cuc Le and her husband Hong Hai Lam at a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

The couple from Crankhall Lane, Wednesbury, were arrested in November 2011 after they were seen in their car acting suspiciously near to a cannabis factory police had discovered at a house in Victoria Street, South Normanton. Officers seized £9,000 from a handbag inside the car and inquiries linked the couple to a further four addresses in Mansfield, Sutton-in Ashfield, Telford and Dudley.

Cannabis grows were discovered at three of the four properties. Police found more than 1,000 cannabis plants in total including 438 at the South Normanton house. Le was jailed for five years and four months and Lam received a five year sentence in November 2012 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to produce cannabis.