An Albanian man who entered the country illegally has been jailed for tending a sophisticated 346-plant cannabis farm in Bradford.
Stefan Musta will be deported when he has served the two-year prison sentence imposed on him at Bradford Crown Court today.
Prosecutor Joseph Bell said Musta was found asleep in a makeshift bedroom at an address in Canford Drive, Allerton, when police raided the house on December 23 last year.
The 34-year-old was arrested at the scene and pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to production of cannabis.
Mr Bell said the police busted the drugs factory after receiving several complaints from members of the public who were suspicious about what was going on at the property.
There was a strong smell of cannabis outside the house and wires running to and from the building indicated that the electricity supply had been bypassed.
Vacuum seal bags were found downstairs with fragments of cannabis in them. There were also bags of compost, scales and phones, along with a quantity of money.
The 346 cannabis plants found in the house were being heated and irrigated by a sophisticated system of lamps, hoses and water tanks.
As well as plants of different sizes being discovered on both floors, there were 65 in the attic and 142 more in an upstairs cupboard.
Mr Bell said Musta had played a significant operational role in a sophisticated cannabis farm capable of producing high yields of the drug.
Musta’s barrister, Ian Hudson, said he had no previous convictions here or in his homeland.
He came to the United Kingdom illegally about a year ago and accepted that he would be deported back to Albania when he left prison.
He had worked as a labourer in this country and was then offered payment to look after the cannabis plants for ten days.
Musta had been remanded in Leeds Prison since his arrest and he was sentenced on a video link to the courtroom, assisted by an Albanian interpreter.
Recorder Thomas Moran said a large part of the house had been turned over to the growing of cannabis.
It was a sophisticated operation with many plants of different sizes and the electricity supply was bypassed.
Musta told the police he became a gardener at the farm for financial reasons rather than being coerced into working for the drugs operation.
From a three-year starting point, Musta was given a full third off his sentence for his prompt guilty plea.