THREE men involved in running a multi-million pound cannabis factory out of a nuclear bunker in Chilmark have been jailed.

Martin Fillery, 45, of Pedwell Hill, Somerset, Ross Winter, 30, of Bartholomew Square, Bristol and Plamen Nguyen, 27, of Maytree Avenue, Bristol appeared in Salisbury Crown Court for sentencing today.

Judge Keith Cutler sentenced Fillery to eight years in prison for conspiracy to produce class B drugs, abstracting electricity and money laundering.

Winter and Nguyen were each jailed for five years for conspiracy to produce class B drugs and abstracting electricity.

Judge Cutler said: “Each of you have played a part in what amounts to one of the most serious crimes that this area has seen for a long while.

“Chilmark is essentially a Wiltshire village with picture-book beauty.

“You in your own way have decided to abuse this large nuclear bunker to carry out the production of industrial scale cannabis.

“This bunker has also become an underground home to many of those growing the plants.

“I am satisfied that this is an operation which, whilst discovered by police in February 2017, had been going for at least three years and it was obviously an operation which was capable of producing over £2 million of cannabis.”

The factory was raided by police on February 22, 2017, after a month of surveillance on the property.

Prosecuting, Charles Thomas said a car driven by Nguyen arrived at the bunker, owned by Fillery, at about 10.30pm that night.

About an hour later, the vehicle was emerging from the property when police entered through the gates and arrested Fillery, Nguyen and Winter.

Officers found 4,425 cannabis plants in the bunker, spread across 20 rooms, as well as 6,500 "used" plants, with some crops already harvested and dried.

Police believe the drugs found valued about £99,000 and the factory had the potential to generate £1.25 million a year.

And Fillery had bypassed mains electricity, Mr Thomas said, and had stolen about £650,000 of electricity.

Three Vietnamese men were also found "locked in" to a room in the bunker, who "worked as gardeners".

A fourth Vietnamese man hid from police in an air-shaft before leaving the bunker in the middle of the night, but he was arrested in a nearby village the following day.

Three of the men have now been deported, and the fourth is appealing the deportation order.

Representing Fillery, Tana Adkin said Fillery had become interested in cannabis after writing a screenplay on the drug.

She said Fillery, who previously worked collecting and selling memorabilia from TV and film, including cars and a number of Daleks, "came to meet various people who had more knowledge than he did about cannabis production".

Miss Adkin said Fillery had "seen an opportunity to make money."

"He had no thought to the effect on the community or the seriousness of what he was involving himself in," she said.

Miss Adkin said Fillery had experienced "some relief" when the factory was discovered and he was arrested.

Sentencing Filler, Judge Cutler said: “I am quite satisfied that you are at the top [of this production] with others.

“You were the one who leased the bunker, you were completely aware of what was going on in there.”