Thi Ha Pham (55), who gave her address as Lagan Road, Dublin Industrial Estate, Dublin 9, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to cultivation of cannabis at the same location on November 20, 2012. She has no previous convictions.
Garda Neil Cepeda said that colleagues had to break down two entrance doors, which had been padlocked from the outside, before finding Ha Pham sitting on a bed in one of the rooms.
The court heard that Ha Pham is currently being processed under a European directive on whether she can be identified as a victim of human trafficking.
Judge Sarah Berkeley said Ha Pham “probably was and is a victim of trafficking” and imposed a three year sentence, which she backdated to when the former market trader went into custody.
The judge noted that Ha Pham had served two years and seven months in custody on remand, which meant the backdated sentence had now expired.
Gda Cepeda told James Dwyer BL, prosecuting, that he and colleagues got a warrant to search the warehouse after a surveillance operation.
Gardaí found 1,176 mature cannabis plants worth €940,800 in four rooms rigged up with sophisticated lighting and irrigation systems.
Ha Pham told gardaí through an interpreter that she had come to Ireland without a passport by plane and truck after interacting with a Vietnamese woman.