Jailed for roles in cannabis farm at Hemswell - former Lincolnshire police officer and convicted killer
A former Lincolnshire police officer and a convicted killer have been jailed for their roles at a "sophisticated" cannabis farm at Hemswell.
Lincoln Crown Court heard how Paul Lewsey, 50, was heavily involved in the operation which was found by police off the A631.
The structure was so well hidden, it could not be detected by specialist heat-seeking equipment often used to find cannabis farms.
But the operation was uncovered because the lack of a mains water supply meant hundreds of litres had to be transported to the site each day.
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Undercover police officers saw Lewsey regularly bring in large amounts of water in 25-litre containers.
One of his accomplices was identified as Simon Hopps, a convicted killer, who served a jail sentence for manslaughter back in 1994.
The court was told that when the building was raided, officers found a sophisticated cannabis growing operation divided into two rooms.
The plants found inside, together with the remains of a crop recently harvested, were estimated to have been able to produce £150,000 worth of the drug.
Lewsey also used his own home as a nursery and when police raided his premises they found 117 seedlings waiting to be transferred to the site.
Lewsey, of Church Lane, North Carlton, Lincoln, and Hopps, 38, of Four Seasons Close, Dunholme, Lincoln, each admitted producing a controlled drug between August 10 and September 23 last year.
Lewsey was jailed for three years and four months. Hopps, who was caught helping to water the plants, was jailed for 16 months.
Passing sentence, Judge Sean Morris told Lewsey: "This was clearly a set-up that was meant to be there for a long time and to produce extremely large amounts of cannabis.
"I am quite satisfied you had a significant role in this. You had full awareness of the sheer scale of the operation."
Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, said the cannabis plants found inside the building were capable of producing nearly 7kg of the drug.
The remains of a recently cultivated crop in the adjoining room would have produced a further 8kg.
The site has since been destroyed by police.
Barry Gilbert, defending, described Lewsey as having "a chequered past" but denied he had a major involvement in the cannabis farm.
A former detective constable with CID, Lewsey had served with Lincolnshire Police between 1986 and 1998.
He later turned to crime and in August 2005 was jailed for six years for supplying cocaine.
He was arrested after offering drugs to an undercover police officer he met in a pub.