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Charitable pot growers get prison time

Oct. 18, 2012 at 2:12 PM

LINCOLNSHIRE, England, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- A British couple were sentenced to three years in prison each after a pot-growing operation partially used to fund charitable endeavors in Kenya was uncovered.

Michael Foster, 62, and Susan Cooper, 63, were each sentenced after police happened upon what they called a "professional and commercial set-up" at their Lincolnshire farmhouse in June 2010 while investigating a burglary. The operation had netted them 400,000 pounds, or roughly $650,000, over four years, bank records show.

Prosecutors said the pair used the money to fund several trips to a village outside Mombasa, Kenya. While there, they purchased computers for an eye clinic and paid for a life-saving surgery for a man suffering from gangrene in his leg, The Guardian reported Thursday.

Cooper lawyer Chris Milligan described his client as "a good person who did a bad thing."

"You were growing it on a significant scale, jetting off to Kenya on it," Lincoln Crown Court Judge Sean Morris said to the couple. "I am sure you were doing good things in Kenya with your drugs money. Whether that was to appease your consciences, I can only speculate."

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