Three men have been jailed today (11 August) for their part in running a cannabis farm worth £2 million inside a nuclear bunker.
Martin Fillery, Ross Winter and Plamen Nguyen created a cannabis farm made up of more than 4,000 plants inside a disused underground nuclear bunker at Regional Government Headquarters (RGHQ) Chilmark in Wiltshire, siphoning electricity worth £650,000 from a pylon outside.
Fillery, Winter and Nguyen locked ‘gardeners’ inside so that they could see to their plants 24 hours a day, with almost every room inside the bunker transformed into a space to grow cannabis or get it ready to sell. The farm had the capability to produce a crop every six weeks.
The farm was raided by police in February 2017 and it is thought it had in operation since 2013.
Amanda Sawetz, from the CPS, said: “This was a high-value cannabis farm hidden from sight in a disused nuclear bunker.
“Fillery, Winter and Nguyen ran a sophisticated operation, visiting at night and having people live inside the bunker to act as gardeners for the farm. Their lighting system alone cost £140,000 and a well had been drilled to provide water for their plants.
“This was an unusual case but the evidence presented by the CPS, following an investigation by Wiltshire Police, saw the three defendants plead guilty to producing cannabis.”
Notes to editors:
- Martin Fillery, Ross Winter and Plamen Nguyen all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce class B drugs and conspiracy to abstract electricity.
- Martin Fillery also pleaded guilty to possession of criminal property (money laundering).
- Fillery received eight years in prison and Winter and Nguyen each received five years in prison
- Amanda Sawetz is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Wessex.