Police discover £1m cannabis factory hidden in former Sheffield steelworks
A sophisticated £1m cannabis factory was found by police officers in a former Sheffield steelworks.
Criminals involved in setting up the Darnall drug den concealed it in a disused steel plant, which they pretended was in the process of renovation.
But when officers searched the former plant – known as Darnall Works – they found a ‘professional, sophisticated set-up,’ where over 1,000 cannabis plants were being grown in a number of rooms hidden behind wooden boards.
On March 18, officers acting on a tip off about the use of the former steelworks raided the premises.
APPEAL: Woman attacked and racially abused at bus stop in Sheffield by woman in builder's hat and hi-vis vestTheir initial search of the site found nothing suspicious, but officers found an electricity line and traced it into a further building where the cannabis factory was located.
Three men were also found at the scene and arrested.
Sergeant Lee Kaighin, of the Darnall and Tinsley neighbourhood policing team, said: "On gaining entry to this second building, the team were faced with lots of wooden boards. Breaking through these we found a huge amount of cannabis plants in various rooms, we also found three men, who were swiftly arrested."In total, we seized 1,064 cannabis plants from the building; their value was huge - over £1 million. It was a professional, sophisticated set up, which was being disguised as a building being renovated.”The three arrested men, of Albanian heritage, were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, July 2 after pleading guilty to the production of cannabis.Muhamet Istrefaj, 44, of no fixed abode, Ermal Qose, 33, of no fixed abode and Festim Perzhilla, 32, of no fixed abode, were each jailed for two years.Sgt Kaighin added: "This was a tough investigation, it took a lot of work to develop the intelligence and then carry out the subsequent warrants. It is due to the tenacity and team work that a huge amount of drugs are not going to make it onto the streets of Sheffield."Three men have also answered to their crimes, which we hope will reassure the community that we are taking action when it comes to the production and supply of drugs in this part of the city."Chief Inspector Stuart Walne said: "This is an impressive bit of work from one of our neighbourhood teams, who prove that they are closely embedded in the community and are taking action when it comes to drug-related criminality.”