Tip-off led South Yorkshire police to 195 plant cannabis farm

A South Yorkshire drug farm with 195 cannabis plants was uncovered after a tip-off from the public, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 3:00 pm

Police found Chaled Dervishi and two other men outside a terraced house on Josephine Avenue, Rotherham, on Sunday July 26, after reports they were loading cannabis into a van.

"There was nothing in the van that was suspicious," said prosecutor Louise Gallagher on Wednesday. "He allowed officers to search inside."

Five rooms had been converted into growing cannabis.

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Image of a cannabis grow in Sheffield.

Mark Dooley, mitigating, conceded Dervishi, an Albanian national, played a "significant role," but had no previous convictions recorded against him in the UK.

He said his client had been in the UK illegally for five months but had not been trafficked and entered a timely guilty plea.

"He was staying at the address rent free to look after the plants and received some form of financial reward."

Dervishi, 31, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to producing Class B drugs, on July 28.

Judge Roger Thomas QC told him: "For the last several months, hardly a week goes by when I don't see an Albanian national, who has entered the country illegally, who was has been charged with the production of cannabis in South Yorkshire."

He said it amounted to a "considerable criminal enterprise netting people a great deal of money."

The judge said the sentencing guidelines suggested a range of two and half years to five years, and sentenced Dervishi to two years in prison.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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