Farmer grew drugs in shipping container buried in his garden near prison

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A farmer set up a cannabis factory in a weather-proofed shipping container buried in his garden, a stone’s throw away from a prison, a court has heard.

About 130 cannabis plants were found in the container when police raided Nicholas Hartwell’s property on August 20 last year.

Northampton Crown Court.

Northampton Crown Court.

Hartwell, aged 43, of West View, Onley Park, Willoughby, was sentenced to three years in prison at Northampton Crown Court on Tuesday, February 18, for the production of cannabis and theft of electricity.

His property is next to HMP Onley.

Officers from Warwickshire Police carried out the initial investigation and found the container.

As the site was just across the county border from Warwickshire, officers from Northamptonshire Police were called in to lead the investigation.

Pc Richard Horsburgh, who led the probe, said: “This was a really good result for Northamptonshire Police which led to a substantial amount of drugs being kept off the county’s streets.

“It was also a great example of cross-border working with our colleagues in Warwickshire Police.”