Ex-cop’s cannabis farm made £250k
A former Lincolnshire police officer who turned to a life of crime, faces losing his home after being jailed for his role in running a cannabis factory at the former RAF Hemswell.
Paul Lewsey, 50, who had also previously served in the Grenadier Guards, was a highly respected officer with the Lincolnshire force for 12 years.
But Lewsey switched to crime and in the summer of last year was arrested after police unearthed an underground cannabis bunker on the site of the former RAF base.
Lewsey, of Church Lane, North Carlton, pleaded guilty to producing a controlled drug at the former RAF Hemswell base between August 10 and September 23 last year.
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He was jailed for three years and four months earlier this year and this week had his available assets seized on the orders of a judge.
Judge Michael Heath ruled that Lewsey benefited from his crime by £257,934 and ordered him to hand over his available assets of £12,954.
Lewsey was given six months to produce the money or face an extra eight months in jail.
The prosecution told Lincoln Crown Court: “There are available assets of £12,954 which can be seized. This will rely primarily on the house being sold. There was also an iPhone and a lap-top seized and these can also be sold.”
Lewsey was arrested after undercover offices spotted him ferrying 25-litre containers of water into the specially constructed cannabis factory.
The building took weeks to build using steel beams and thousands of breeze blocks and was buried underground to avoid detection from heat seeking equipment used to trace cannabis-growing operations.
Cannabis plants found inside the bunker were capable of producing £150,000 worth of the illicit drug.
Lewsey also used his own home as a nursery. When police raided his premises they found 117 seedlings waiting to be transferred to the bunker.
Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, said: “It was a massive undertaking. The reason why it was sited underground is because it didn’t produce a heat source as it was filled over with soil. Somebody laid out a lot of money to build it.
“The evidence is that 7,000 concrete blocks, which were typical breeze blocks, were used to construct the building with another 4,000 for the roof. It would have taken nine articulated lorry loads to deliver the blocks.
“Steel and concrete beams were supporting the roof. The floor was concrete. There were lights and it was all powered by three generators. It would have taken a minimum of four weeks to build with six men building it. It can only be described as an impressive bunker for the growing of cannabis. There were two separate rooms each about 20m by 3m in dimension.
“The two growing rooms were separated by a row of steel poles. There were three generators on site. It is estimated the cost of building the bunker and the extra bits and pieces would have been £35,000. Mr Lewsey was intimately involved.”
One of Lewsey’s accomplices was convicted killer Simon Hopps who was jailed in 1994 for manslaughter. Hopps, 38, of Dunholme, also admitted producing a controlled drug and was jailed for 16 months.