BACK in November 2022, South Wales Police searched an address in Porth after being made aware of suspicious activity. The search yielded a well-established cannabis factory.
Following an investigation carried out by the Mid Glamorgan Organised Crime Unit, six large-scale cannabis factories were linked to two men.
On Wednesday (March 15), Ashley Carter, aged 35 from Rhondda, and Howard Williams, aged 46 from Cardiff, were sentenced for drug offences at Merthyr Crown Court.
During the investigation, it became clear that a significant number of drugs-related messages had been exchanged between the two, specifically in relation to the production and supply of cannabis.
Further messages located on Carter’s phone also linked him to the supply of crack cocaine.
A total of 1,165 grown plants and 115 nursery plants were recovered with an estimated street value of up to £590,000.
Carter was sentenced to five years and three months imprisonment for conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis and being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs – crack cocaine.
Williams was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment for conspiracy to supply and produce cannabis.
Detective Constable Chelsea Barrett, who led the case, said: “We know that many people think it is ‘just a bit of cannabis’ but any production of drugs is linked to wider operations. These large operations are often run by organised crime gangs, who are likely to engage in human trafficking and very serious violence involving weapons.
“I would encourage people to please continue to report suspicious behaviour and suspected drug dealing in their neighbourhood to us, as the information helps us develop a bigger picture that leads us to take action and remove drugs from the streets.”