Pair running Suffolk cannabis factory worth up to £167k jailed

Ipswich Crown Court.

The pair were jailed at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

Two men who worked as gardeners in a cannabis farm which was discovered during a police raid at an industrial unit in Suffolk have been jailed.

Officers who were alerted by members of the public went to a building in Horn Hill, Lowestoft on April 20 this year and noticed a strong smell of cannabis, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The windows of the industrial unit were boarded up, door handles had been removed and a van was parked by the doors, blocking access.

Azgan Gashi

Azgan Gashi - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

The officers could hear the sound of mechanical equipment operating inside the premises and when they forced entry they discovered a large cannabis farm with over 500 cannabis plants.

Two men inside the premises had climbed onto the roof and had then jumped down in a bid to escape.

One of them was wrestled to the ground nearby and the other jumped over a fence into the rear compound of a car dealership and landed on a Suzuki car dislocating his shoulder.

The rear window of the car had smashed and damage was caused to seats in the vehicle.

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Before the court were Azgan Gashi, aged 20, and 24-year-old Klisman Toci, both of no fixed abode, who admitted being involved in the production of cannabis.

Toci also admitted criminal damage to a car.

KIisman Toci

KIisman Toci - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

Sentencing the men, Recorder Jeremy Benson said they had been involved in a “sophisticated industrial-scale cannabis growing operation".

He said the cannabis had a potential street value of between £97,000 and £167,000.

Gashi was sentenced to 14 months' detention in a young offenders’ institution and Toci was jailed for 16 months.

Danielle O’Donovan, for Gashi, said her client was an illegal immigrant who had been working at the cannabis farm for very little recompense.

Jude Durr, for Toci, said the damage done to the car in the compound had been in the region of £200.