A MAN caught with more than 200 cannabis plants told police “I didn’t know that tree was illegal”.

Ngan Le, 52, was in a house in Bishopbriggs when police carried out a raid and discovered growing areas all over the house.

Experts valued the drugs at between £75,000 and £150,000.

Le, originally from Vietnam, was detained and later told officers “I didn’t know that tree was illegal.”

He pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to producing cannabis and being concerned in the supply, between December 2017 and February 2018.

The court heard police turned up at the Avon Road house on February 26 with a search warrant.

Procurator fiscal depute Kathleen O’Donnell said: “On entering there was an overpowering smell of cannabis and a significant heat source.”

They shouted “police” and showed their warrant cards and saw “numerous” cannabis plants and equipment including lighting units, fans and thermostats.

Miss O’Donnell said Le came out of a bedroom upstairs and was detained by police and taken to Baird Street police office.

She added: “A walk through of the property was conducted by police and it was noted there was a further three growing areas with two bedrooms on the first floor and in the attic space.

“The following morning it was noted there was 211 plants in total that were healthy and well tended to.

“Plants were in various stages of growth, each plant was valued at between £200 and £600 therefore the potential value of between £75,000 and £150,800.

“The accused did state to police officers, through an interpreter, ‘I don’t know that tree is illegal’.”

Defence lawyer Paul Anderson will give his mitigation on the next occasion but said he will be referring to pictures of the property where Le had “makeshift accommodation at best”.

Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC deferred sentence for reports and remanded Le in custody.