UK: Cannabis grower arrested moments before he boarded plane home

A cannabis gardener was arrested at an airport as he was about to board a plane home to Albania.

Serxhjo Dana looked after plants in a house in Hanley Road, Sneyd Green, for a month before police raided the property.

Officers found two upstairs rooms and the loft converted into a drugs farm with 101 plants growing in the three rooms. They had a potential street value of £56,000.

The defendant was not there when they made the discovery but his fingerprints were found on several items.

He was arrested nearly 12 months later when police caught him with £7,180 as he was about to fly home.

Now Dana has been jailed for 27 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Prosecutor Peter McCartney said a landlord rented his property in Hanley Road, Sneyd Green, from May 1, 2020.

Police carried out a bust at the address at 4am on November 22, 2020 after receiving a report that men in a Vauxhall car had entered the house.

Mr McCartney said: “The Vauxhall was stopped nearby and 25 cannabis plants wrapped in a bed sheet were recovered from the rear of the car.

“Police went to the address and discovered a significant and sophisticated cannabis growing operation.

“The defendant’s fingerprints were found inside the house, on tables, a television screen and a glass in the sink. Police also recovered a letter addressed to the defendant from a dental practice.

“Officers discovered three growing rooms which had the walls, windows and floors lined with reflective heating. In each room there were high powered lighting units suspended from the ceilings which were powered by transformers. There was heavy duty ducting in all three rooms and there were air circulation fans in one room and the loft. The electricity had been bypassed.”

Police recovered 28 cannabis plants from the front upstairs room; 50 cannabis plants from the rear room and 23 cannabis plants in the loft.

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