Two men who had £350,000 of cannabis seized from them by officers have been jailed. The hoard was found in a factory inside a property in Southampton.
On March 19, officers on patrol spotted a white van facing the wrong way in a one way system in Alfred Street. Two men, who were in the van, spotted the officers and tried to run away but were detained.
The two men were Elidjon Dedaj, 24 and Kujtim Qungeli, 37, both of no fixed address. Before officers detained Qungeli, he had been spotted going into an address on Alfred Street.
Inside, the officers found a large quantity of cannabis being grown under high powered lights and evidence of a substantial fire that had occurred near the fuse box. Dozens of bin bags filled with cannabis were seized, believed to have a street value of £352,000.
Dedaj and Qungeli both pleaded guilty to producing a controlled drug of Class B in April. Appearing at Southampton Crown Court on Thursday (May 12), they were sentenced to 12 months in prison, and the judge ordered the drugs to be destroyed.
PC Jess Swift from Western Investigations said: “Drug cultivation and supply often goes hand in hand with organised crime, serious violence including use of firearms and the exploitation of vulnerable individuals and children – which is why tackling the issue is one of our priorities. The electricity needed to grow this many plants can also be a huge fire risk, putting neighbouring properties and lives in danger.
“By dismantling this cannabis factory and taking Dedaj and Qungeli off the streets, we have disrupted the local drug supply network and made Southampton a safer place to live. I hope this sentence encourages people to come forward and report information about any potential cannabis cultivation or drug supply in your neighbourhood.
“All the information you give us is reviewed and helps us to take action.”