A crook who ran one of the largest cannabis factories in the East Midlands has been jailed after evading justice for 11 years.
Ronald Bell of Hollym Road, Withernsea, Hull, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to production, possession with intent to supply and supplying cannabis between September 2002 and February 2003 in Ilkeston.
He was sentenced on February 24 to eight years for each of the three offences to run concurrently.
In February 2003 officers from Derbyshire Constabulary executed a search warrant at a unit in Quarry Hill Industrial Estate, in Ilkeston, and discovered what was thought to be one of the largest cannabis factories in the East Midlands at that time. They found almost 1,000 plants of various sizes being grown in premises.
Bell was arrested and during interview admitted that he had rented the building for cannabis production.
He went missing while on bail. Despite extensive enquiries he was not traced until earlier this year when Derbyshire officers acted on information they received. He was arrested in Hull.