A VIETNAMESE man has been jailed for overseeing a £175,000 cannabis farm inside a South Tyneside flat.
Hieu Vo now faces being deported over his involvement in the drugs factory in Revesby Street, South Shields.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 43-year-old was arrested after police found 175 plants at various stages of growth in the loft at the property two weeks ago.
The estimated yield from the crop was assessed by investigators to be worth about £175,000.
The growing areas had been kitted out with specialist lighting and feeding equipment installed in a bid to ensure maximum growth.
Vo, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to cultivating the Class B drug at yesterday’s hearing.
The court heard that Vo had travelled to the UK from his home country in the hope of securing himself a better life.
His involvement in the farm involved tending to the plants and ensuring they were fed and watered.
He was caught with a small amount of cash and a mobile phone when he was arrested, but prosecutors accept he was not high up in the criminal chain of command.
He now hopes to complete his sentence and go back to Vietnam and to his family.
Judge Jeremy Freedman sentenced him to 16 months behind bars.
Vo is not expected to oppose deportation.