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Two Albanian men have been jailed after officers uncovered huge cannabis grow in Ironville.
Officers conducted a warrant at a large house in Cinder Bank, Ironville on 16 December last year after reports of a strong smell of cannabis coming from the house.
Such was the concern around the risk of a fire breaking out due to the bypassed electricity, in particular with a nursery being located nearby, officers from the Alfreton Safer Neighbourhood Team entered the building.
Inside they found a vast cannabis grow across four floors – with 811 cannabis plants and a substantial amount of dried drugs estimated to be worth in excess of £800,000.
The building, which had been renovated to create several flats, was monitored by CCTV, had all its windows boarded up and the electricity had also been bypassed.
Saimir Kullau, 23, and Marsel Sadja, 24, were both found inside the house and were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the production of cannabis.
The pair, both of no fixed abode, refused to be interviewed in relation to the grow and admitted their part in the grow when they appeared at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on 5 January.
Yesterday (1 February) the pair appeared at Derby Crown Court where they were each sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Sergeant James Bowler, the officer in charge of Alfreton SNT, said: “I would first like to thank the everyone who came forward with information about the smell of cannabis in the area around the property where this grow was discovered.
“Our policing is about working with our communities to make them safer and this is a great example of this.
“Cannabis grows pose a real danger to our communities – with electricity often illegally bypassed that have seen lead to fires where people have been seriously hurt.
“We have also seen in recent grows, in Riddings and Pinxton, where we had seen the gas supply tampered with to the point where there was a risk of explosion and had to be made safe.
“We often see comments about how cannabis grows are not a serious issue but the danger posed by these grows is very real – and poses a huge risk to our communities.
“We will continue to act on all information that is passed to us and I would urge anyone who is concerned about drug production or dealing in their area to contact us in confidence.”
Spotting the signs of a potential cannabis grow:
If you have any information about drug production or dealing in your area then you can contact us using any of the below methods in confidence.
You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
We’re currently sharing the work we do across our varied communities as part of Operation Derbyshire.
Operation Derbyshire runs until the end of May. It will see officers and staff sharing with our communities the excellent work that is going on to tackle certain crime types in the county and support victims.
Operation Derbyshire will also highlight the work that we and our partners do to support victims and bring offenders to justice.
You can follow our work on social media by following #OpDerbyshire.