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A $1.5 Million Cannabis Operation Was Uncovered In Blackpool, UK

· Nov 22, 2021
The farm was located in Coronation Street, and police noted that the building was at the junction of Hall Street. After an anonymous community member enlightened authorities about the potential ...

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Two Albanian men were arrested back in September for producing excessive amounts of cannabis and violating immigration regulations. The men arrested were Frrok Zefi, 42, and Aldi Gjetani, 27. Their operations were interrupted when United Kingdom police raided their secret yet substantial grow-op a few months ago.

The farm was located in Coronation Street, and police noted that the building was at the junction of Hall Street. After an anonymous community member enlightened authorities about the potential large-scale grow-op, police investigated the place and carried out the search warrant upon arrival. The grow-op was also heavily protected with security when officers rolled in.

Once officers began to look around and force themselves inside, they were surprised by how sophisticated the setup was. Authorities discovered just about 950 healthy cannabis plants alongside thousands of pounds worth of growing equipment. In a press release following the bust, Lancashire Police noted that the estimated street value of the abundant grow-op was roughly around £950,000 or £1,000 per plant, which converts to $1,273,760 or $1,340 USD per plant.

Not only was the grow-op highly illegal, but the Albanian men were also arrested and put under a prohibition order by Blackpool Council after authorities realized how dangerous their equipment was. They noted in their press release that the electrical connections posed a “significant fire risk.”

Up until September 13, when the pair were busted, they had been living inside the building where the grow-op was taking place. The duo’s sleeping quarters were located in a cramped room inside the building with no windows or proper ventilation, posing another safety hazard.

When authorities discovered that the men had illegally connected the electricity to the main supply in Hull Road around the corner, Electricity Northwest engineers were called to make any changes that were deemed unsafe and posed any risk. Since the engineers had to disconnect the main supply in order to fix the situation correctly and safely, this left one side of Hull Road without electricity for hours.

On October 20, Zefi and Gjetani appeared at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced to two years in prison on charges regarding the production of cannabis and working in a hazardous environment. Even worse, the men were also given a Section 32 UK Borders Act notice; this means the men will have to face automatic deportation back to Albania for their cannabis-related crimes.

It’s a shame to see the UK maintain its strict cannabis laws; had this been in the United States or Canada, we can only guess that consequences wouldn’t be as harsh.