Norwich flat had been turned into a small scale cannabis factory

Some of the cannabis plants police found growing at an address in King's Lynn Picture: Norfolk Cons

More than 220 cannabis plants had been growing in a flat in Magdalen Close, Norwicjh - Credit: Archant

A man was caught with cannabis with a street value of more than £68,000 leaving a city two-bed flat which had been turned into a small-scale drug factory, a court heard.

Police raided a flat in Magdalen Close and found Gjon Preka, 27, leaving the address with cannabis in nine vacuum packed bags, Norwich Crown Court heard.

David Ryan, prosecuting, said the street value of the drugs was £68,542.

He said when police went inside the flat they found it had been turned into a small scale cannabis factory and found Dashamir Elezi, 39, at the scene.

Mr Ryan said rooms had been boarded out with white plastic sheets and electricity  bypassed.

He said there were 220 cannabis plants over three growing areas.

Mr Ryan said some of the plants had been harvested.

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He said there was just one small area with a sofa bed where Elezi had been living and the rest turned over for cannabis production

He said Elezi said he had been forced to work in the cannabis factory facing threats if he did not obey.

Preka claimed he only attended the address to pick up the drugs as directed by others and was not involved in any production.

Mr Ryan said both men were of previous good character.

Preka admitted possession with intent to supply cannabis and was jailed 14 weeks and Eliza admitted cannabis production and was jailed eight months.

Both had the help of an Albanian interpreter for the hearing over a link to Norwich prison.

Juliet Donovan, for Eliza, said he had been forced to work in the UK after owing £20,000 for a failed business he set up in Albania: "He came here to try to repay the debt."

She said he was looking forward to being deported back to Albania so he could be with his family.

Robert Cowley, for Peka, said that he deserved credit for his guilty plea.

Sentencing them, Recorder Simon Taylor QC said it was a serious matter but accepted both had lesser roles in the operation.

Recorder Taylor also ordered destruction of the drugs and equipment.

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