A self-styled ‘legitimate businessman’ who supplied growing equipment for a countrywide network of cannabis factories has been jailed for three years.
Nigel Piper spent three years running a simple transport operation, providing hydroponics equipment and seeds to criminals in and helping to dispose of waste products from their factories.
The 39-year-old was arrested after police spotted him travelling in an overweight lorry on the M25 near Heathrow in March 2007.
Police discovered more than £100,000 of skunk cannabis hidden among nine tonnes of waste material, which was the residue from a large-scale cannabis factory.
During the trial at Harrow Crown Court, Piper denied being involved in cannabis supply, calling himself a millionaire and legitimate businessman.
The court heard Piper had gone from supplying equipment and transporting waste material to smuggling processed skunk cannabis around the country, with his final delivery destined for London dealers after being produced in Hull.
He ran two companies – one called Greenfinger Hydroponics specialising in the sale of growing equipment; and another called Safe Seeds that sold cannabis seeds.
A jury took just over two hours to find Piper guilty of conspiracy to supply cannabis, and he was sentenced to three years imprisonment on April 12.
By Mike Didymus