Man jailed after car chase leads to cannabis farm discovery

TWO factories growing up to £170,000-worth of cannabis were discovered in Barry following a dangerous police pursuit through Vale roads.

Zak Brown, 24, of Owens Close, Barry, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for his part in the operation, which was uncovered on Saturday, December 15, last year.

Yesterday (January 29), Cardiff Crown Court heard how Brown and a passenger were driving through Boverton at around 9pm on the date in question when he was pulled over by an unmarked police car.

As a police sergeant approached his car door, Brown suddenly accelerated, narrowly missing the officer in what prosecutor John Lloyd described as a "desperate attempt to get away".

Shortly afterwards a chase ensued along the B4265 from Llantwit Major to Barry in which Brown mounted the pavement and drove around two roundabouts the wrong way before crashing into another vehicle and then into a wall of the Heritage Business Park.

Mr Lloyd said: "Brown and his passenger made off and a set of keys was recovered from the vehicle.

"Police executed two search warrants, one at Blackberry Drive, Barry, and the other at Commercial Road, Barry. There the officers found hydroponic cannabis farms.

"The electricity had been bypassed and there were a number of cannabis plants and plant feed."

Father-of-two Brown was found at the Commercial Street address and arrested. He had £220 on his person in addition to £637 found in the abandoned vehicle.

In total, 162 cannabis plants were found, believed to be yielding of up to £170,000-worth of produce.

Brown pleaded guilty to charges of producing cannabis and dangerous driving.

The court heard that further warrants for arrest are outstanding, with Judge Neil Bidder noting that: "This was not a one-man operation", before jailing Brown for two-and-a-half years and disqualifying him from driving for the same amount of time.

Judge Bidder told Brown, who has a previous conviction for assault and another for possession of cannabis with intent to supply: "You have two young children and you play an active role in the care of those children.

"You have a reasonable employment record. There is no need for you to involve yourself in criminal activities."

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