A Chinese man convicted of involvement in the management of six large-scale cannabis factories across Belfast and Co Down has been jailed for six years.
Jailing 29-year-old Sheng Lee at Belfast Crown Court, Judge Tom Burgess told the illegal immigrant that although he could not determine his role specifically, “I believe he was a significant player in whom quite clearly those at the top of the pyramid were content to place considerable trust”.
At the end of his two-week trial last month, Lee, whose address was given as c/o Maghaberry prison, was unanimously convicted of six counts of cultivating cannabis, five of causing criminal damage to the houses used as growing factories and four charges of dishonestly using electricity on dates between 25 January 2009 and February 3 last year.
In three houses in Belfast and one each in Bangor, Downpatrick and Comber, officers uncovered plant growing material and equipment including heat lamps, ventiliation fans and fertiliser.
The jury heard that Lee was linked to the properties after police found tenancy agreements.
He was also linked by fingerprints on bank statements and his DNA profile on a bottle of water in one of the properties.