Cannabis farms were in the news on a number of occasions in the last week.

First up: Normanby, North Yorkshire

In response to a tip, police raided a house on Lambton Street, Normanby, North Yorkshire, on Monday 7 March 2022. They found over 100 cannabis plants. They described the operation as “large scale”. No arrests occurred.

There was plenty of action involving cannabis farms last week. Photo: Rainer Vandalismus

There was plenty of action involving cannabis farms last week. Photo: Rainer Vandalismus

Worksop in Nottinghamshire

Police paid a visit to a house in Gateford Road, Worksop, in Nottinghamshire at around 3 pm on Wednesday March 9 after receiving a tip once again. There, they found a sophisticated operation in three rooms of the property. The rooms had been modified and the electricity meter bypassed, ie electricity was stolen. Shortly thereafter, a 37-year-old man found himself under arrest for cultivating cannabis. He remains in custody.

Officers also busted a smaller cannabis farm at a house in Lime Tree Avenue, Carlton, in Lindrick, Worksop, the day before, again in response to a tip.

Radcliffe, Greater Manchester

On Friday 11 March, police came upon a large cannabis farm at a house in Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, Greater Manchester. The electricity meter had been bypassed. GMP Bury North posted pictures of two cannabis plants in a loft to their Twitter page. One more fella found himself under arrest.

More cannabis farm news

There were several more episodes of cannabis farm news last week where there were no busts, but court cases came to an end.

Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire

On September 16 2021, police found a cannabis farm when they called at a house on Longroyd Grove in Beeston, a suburb of Leeds, West Yorkshire. They were there to investigate an unrelated matter. At one house, they spoke to 34-year-old Toni Hoxha. They became aware of a “significant cannabis farm” covering three floors. The cellar contained 89 plants while two rooms on the first floor housed another 64. This would have been worth somewhere between £114,000 and £185,000 a year. Heating, lighting and ventilation equipment was present. Yet again, the electricity meter had been bypassed.

Hoxha stated to police that he came to Britain illegally in the back of a lorry. His purpose was to make enough dosh to pay for medical treatment for his sick daughter in Albania. Some men picked him up at a port and drove him to Beeston two days prior to his arrest. The men who took him told him he owed them £20,000 for arranging his entry to the country. He claimed he had been instructed to take care of the plants in the house for four months to settle the debt. He never left the house after being threatened by the men.

Hoxha received a 12-month jail sentence. The recorder who sentenced him told him “your crime was largely motivated because nasty criminals had their claws in you.”

Wolverhampton West Midlands

Police arrested another illegal immigrant, this time from Vietnam, on November 21 for cultivating cannabis. This followed a night of uproar in Haden Hill, near Wolverhampton, West Midlands. They seized Tinh Nguyen, aged 26, after responding to reports of an early-morning street brawl. This erupted when a gang sought to steal hundreds of cannabis plants growing inside a house.

One car that attempted to escape the scene crashed into traffic lights on Archer Way just after 1:30 am. Police recovered another car, a VW Golf, between junctions 2 and 3 of the M54. Police equipment deflated its tyres near junction 7 of the M6 after it drove the wrong way along a dual carriageway.

Nguyen attempted to flee, but what the prosecutor termed “a rather aggressive police dog” brought him to heel. Nguyen told Wolverhampton Crown Court that a gang of criminals brought him to the United Kingdom in 2018, and he now dearly wished to return to his native country. A police statement read that the gang “encourage[d] [Nguyen] under duress to attend to the cannabis plants.” Nguyen required an interpreter in court and “was not getting anything” out of the arrangement. His “movements were extremely limited”, but he oversaw “a commercial operation.”

Nguyen had previously been arrested in Bradford for taking care of a cannabis farm but failed to attend court. Brought to “justice” at last, his sentence was 12 months’ imprisonment.

The seven rooms of the house held 227 cannabis plants believed to be worth between £25,000 and £95,000. The house featured fans and lights, and the toilet system had been diverted to water the plants. A “rival gang” attempted to steal the dope.

Enfield, North London

Last week, six men clocked up sentences of between two and 11 years for stabbing 30-year-old Skender Ismaili in the chest. This was while robbing a cannabis factory on Lytton Avenue, Enfield, North London, in July 2020. Ismaili managed it. The weight of evidence against the men was so great they pleaded guilty. The longest sentence – 11 years for manslaughter and aggravated burglary – went to Ali Coulibaly, 21. Jazeel Lewis got seven years for aggravated burglary while Mason Harris-Williams got six years and four months, Ahmed Yamac got five years and five months and Daniel Yamac got five years for the same offence. Yamac resided in Feltham, while the others lived in Ealing, both of which are in West London. Haseeb Nadeem of Wimbledon, southwest London, got off with a two-year suspended sentence for assisting an offender.

One More

The final jail sentence issued in the previous week for running a cannabis farm went to Mustafa Oustha, 39. He led a gang responsible for 12 cannabis farms throughout southern England. The sentence was six years and eight months for producing cannabis and concealing criminal property. Police described his lifestyle of luxury cars and overseas properties as “lavish”. The judge proclaimed that it was “difficult to envisage a more serious case of production of cannabis.”

The farms lay in 12 industrial units and churned out cannabis estimated to be worth about £6 million a year. They were in Bicester, Buckinghamshire, Aldershot and Basingstoke in Hampshire, Farnham, Surrey, and Wokingham, Berkshire. Outsha rented these using five aliases. The operations kicked off between 2016 and 2021.

Outsha’s arrest took place at his house in Northolt, West London. There, police found two luxury cars, around £23,700 of cash and 18 watches believed to be worth £500,000. He owned property in the United Kingdom and abroad. When he delivered the sentence, the judge asserted that Outsha “led the high life” thanks to his criminality.

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