A 56- year old Polish man, who operated a large scale, sophisticated, cannabis growhouse in south Mayo, was sentenced to a total of three years in prison at the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar today.

Almost 300 cannabis plants with a street value of €237,600 was discovered by gardai when they raided a house at Ballinchalla, The Neale, which was being rented by Mariek Asijewski.

He pleaded guilty at a court in January to the possession of cannabis with intent to supply and to the cultivation of cannabis.

At today's sentencing hearing, Garda Nicola Dolan said the discovery of the growhouse, following a search under warrant on April 5 2017, was the most significant drugs find ever in the Mayo Garda division.

The ESB meter in the house was bypassed in order to provide free electricity for the growhouse operation.

The court heard cannabis plants were discovered growing in two upstairs bedrooms, a downstairs bedroom and in an attic space, the court heard.

Sentencing Mr. Asijewski to a total of three years in prison, Judge Rory MacCabe said he had been part of a significant drugs enterprise.

The judge backdated the sentence to take account of the 13 months he has already spent in prison since his arrest.

The judge made an order for the destruction of the drugs seized.




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