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Police smash £400,000 cannabis factory after public report ‘stench’

PUBLISHED: 18:06 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:34 10 June 2020

Police found £400,000 of cannabis plants at a property on Middleton Crescent, Costessey    Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Police found £400,000 of cannabis plants at a property on Middleton Crescent, Costessey Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A cannabis factory containing almost 500 plants worth £400,000 was smashed by police after members of the public reported the “stench” that filled the air.

Police found £400,000 of cannabis plants at a property on Middleton Crescent, Costessey   Photo: ArchantPolice found £400,000 of cannabis plants at a property on Middleton Crescent, Costessey Photo: Archant

Klevi Haxhaj, 25, and Ditmir Avdia, 29, were found in the loft and in loft insulation at a property in Middleton Crescent, Costessey, following a police raid.

Norwich Crown Court heard officers found 477 plants in eight rooms at the property, a wall of which had been knocked through as part of the cannabis growing operation.

Duncan O’Donnell, prosecuting, said members of the public had noticed several vans parked outside the property.

He said: “The air was soon filled with the stench of cannabis.”

Mr O’Donnell said the two defendants were seen by locals out and about on a number of occasions, including attending the hairdressers.

The court heard the hairdresser had commented that they “smelt of cannabis”.

When police raided the property on February 27 this year they discovered a “sophisticated industrial cannabis growing set-up”.

Haxhaj and Avdia, of no fixed abode, appeared in court on Tuesday (June 9) via videolink and spoke through an interpreter, having both previously admitted producing a quantity of cannabis.

Matthew Sorel-Cameron, mitigating for Haxhaj, said his client had arrived in the UK on a lorry having paid money to get to this country and was told he would be working construction.

But having realised he had been misled he complained but was attacked, had his teeth knocked out and was threatened.

Mr Sorel-Cameron said threats were also made about his family in Albania.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating for Avdia, said he had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty to the offence.

Sentencing both to 12 months in prison, Judge Stephen Holt, said police had discovered a large commercial cannabis growing operation with just short of 500 plants.

As previously reported, members of the public who lived in the area spoke of their shock about the drugs raid at the time

A 46-year-old post office worker, who was in his living room when the raid happened, said: “I’ve seen a drugs raid on television before but never on my doorstep, which was a different experience.”


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