Galway Bay fm newsroom – Three Chinese men have been sentenced to two concurrent sentences totalling twelve years, for cultivating €2.3 million worth of cannabis plants for sale or supply at a warehouse in Milltown.
It follows a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court where Gardai said the seizure is believed to be the largest in the State to date.
45 year old Jing Feng Qin, 52 year old Wie Yan Chen, 42 year old Fang Si Lang, and 32 year old Huoyun Huang, pleaded not guilty to having cannabis in their possession at Unit 7, N17 Business Park, Milltown, on April 20, 2013, which was for sale or supply to another, when the trial opened (last Friday).
They pleaded not guilty to having cannabis for sale or supply to another which at the time had a street value of €13,000 or more, contrary to Section 15(a) of the same Act.
All four men also denied a lesser charge of having cannabis in their possession on the same occasion.
Three of the men, Jing Feng Qin, Wie Yan Chen, and Fang Si Lang , who were the ‘gardeners’ pleaded guilty to cultivating the cannabis plants in the warehouse without a licence from the Minister for Health, while the fourth accused, Huoyun Huang, deemed to be the ‘lieutenant’ or ‘regionl manager’ denied any involvement in the illegal operation.
Huoyun Huang absconded last Monday and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
Mr John Jordan, prosecuting SC, told the jury that the plants seized would have had a potential street value of €2.3 million on maturity.
Mr Jordan said Gardai found the entire warehouse measuring 170ft. by 80ft. was taken up with growing 2,828 plants at various stages of growth.
Four senior counsel, instructed by four junior counsel, who in turn were instructed by their solicitors, told the jury that their clients, in particular, the ‘gardeners’, were involved because they had incurred debts and had been forced to work in the grow house under duress.
Judge Sean O’Donnabhain sentenced the three men to five years in prison for cultivating the plants and imposed a concurrent seven-year sentence on them for having the plants for sale or supply.
74 new cases in Galway, 1,910 nationally and 77 further deaths from COVID-19
76 of these deaths occurred in January, 1 in December.
The median age of those who died is 84 years and the age range is 43-98 years.
There has been a total of 2,947 COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland.
Of the cases notified today:
- 887 are men / 1,016 are women
- 57% are under 45 years of age
- The median age is 40 years old
|County||Today’s cases**(to midnight 22Jan2021)||14-day incidence rate per 100,000 population (to 22Jan2021)||New Cases during last 14 days(to 22Jan2021)|
7-day incidence 344.9
5-day moving average 2,273