Man jailed for involvement in cannabis operation
A 26-year-old man who admitted producing cannabis after being found with over 300 plants at his home has been jailed for a year.
South Yorkshire Police executed a warrant at an address in Green Lane, Rawmarsh on May 8 this year, when defendant, Jashar Qevani, was found to be the property’s only occupant.
Officers discovered cannabis plants growing in six separate rooms, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
“They were found growing under lighting, with extractor fans and associated equipment. The electricity being used to power the set-up was being illegally extracted from the mains supply,” prosecutor, Michael Tooley, told the court.
Police seized a total of 378 plants ‘at various stages of growth’ that were capable of producing 15.1 killograms of the Class B drug.
When interviewed, Qevani said he was taking care of the plants for an unnamed individual in order to pay off debts owed to other unnamed individuals in Greece and Albania.
Mr Tooley said the Crown regarded Qevani’s role in the production of the drug to be ‘significant’ because he expected to financially benefit from the illegal operation.
Qevani, of Green Lane, Rawmarsh, pleaded guilty to one count of producing cannabis at an earlier hearing.
Andrew Swaby, defending, said one of the best points of mitigation that could be made on Qevani’s behalf was his guilty plea that was entered at a ‘very early stage’.
Mr Swaby said Qevani arrived in the United Kingdom in November last year, after working in Greece for 10 years, and was led to believe there would be ‘plenty of opportunities for employment in this country’.
“He was told work would be available in Rotherham and that he would be paid £1,000,” said Mr Swaby, adding: “He was taken to the property and this confirmed his suspicions it was illegal. He doesn’t blame anyone other than himself.”
Recorder Shakil Najib sentenced Qevani to 12 months in prison.
“It’s unfortunate, having come to this country in difficult circumstances to try and make a better life for yourself, that rather than trying to sort out your employment status…you went down the route of being involved in a cannabis operation for financial gain,” he said.
Recorder Najib also granted an order to destroy the cannabis seized from Qevani’s address.