Man is being compared to Walter White after growing a drug empire post leukaemia diagnosis
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A man who was diagnosed with leukaemia has drawn comparisons with Breaking Bad's Walter White after he started his own drug empire.
In 2010, Edward McCann was diagnosed with leukaemia and ended up undergoing chemotherapy, and he turned to cannabis to alleviate some of the more unpleasant side effects that came with that particular treatment.
However, his connection with drugs didn't stop there, as Edward became Hampshire's homegrown drug manufacturer.
According to The Times, the business owner started growing his own cannabis, at first on a small scale before expanding his operation to require the use of an 'industrial-scale cannabis factory' hidden at a remote farmhouse in Wales.
Police estimate that McCann made around £4.3 million in profit from selling cannabis, with some of that money going towards the university fees of daughter Samantha.
Unlike Walter White, who spent much of Breaking Bad trying to keep his life as the world's greatest meth cook a secret from his family, McCann made his cannabis empire a family business.
That means his wife and son have also been sentenced alongside him, with his wife Linda helping set up the cannabis factory in Wales and son Daniel playing a part in growing the Class B drug.
Last month, Edward was sentenced to seven years and seven months behind bars, while his wife was sentenced to six years and seven months, while son Daniel got eight years and six months.
Two other workers not related to McCann were charged and received sentences too.
Charges were brought against Samantha during the investigation into the drug manufacturing operation, but they were later dropped.
McCann pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce and supply cannabis between 2015 and 2020, while he and his son also admitted to running the smaller scale operation from their home between 2013 and 2015.
Police were able to catch McCann due to messages between father and son, and on 23 October 2020 officers entered the barn at the farmhouse to discover the cannabis factory.
They recovered 202 cannabis plants worth a total of £460,000, along with £1.5 million worth of cannabis products such as oil and chocolate.
Officers discovered that the barn was drawing power directly from a nearby electricity pole to avoid alerting anyone by using a suspicious amount of power.
The judge who presided over the case, Justice Geraint Walters, said McCann's operation was the 'most sophisticated' cannabis factory he had ever seen.
Justice Walters acknowledged that McCann had first become involved with cannabis with the intention of alleviating the worst effects of his chemotherapy, but went on to say that the scale of weed production went far beyond that.
He said: "The reality is you moved on from it, and it would be an affront to common sense to suggest that an operation on this scale had anything to do with producing medicinal cannabis."