Cannabis factory farmer locked up after 120 plants were found growing at a house in Armley
A man who was arrested as he looked after a cannabis factory at a house in Leeds has been sent to prison.
West Yorkshire Police officers found 120 plants growing inside the property when they executed a search warrant at the premises in Armley.
Leeds Crown Court heard Fitim Kadriaj was arrested at the property on Mitford Terrace on August 19 this year
Tayo Dasaolu, prosecuting, said the property was fitted with heating, lighting and growing equipment and the electricity supply had also been bypassed.
The 24-year-old year old defendant was found in possession of £1,700 in cash and an iPhone.
Kadriaj pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and possessing criminal property.
Stephen Smithson, mitigating, said Kadriaj is an Albanian national who entered the UK illegally two years ago.
Mr Smithson told the court that Kadriaj had been working in a mineral mine in his home country but came to the UK in the hope of a better life.
The court heard the defendant then worked as a painter and decorator in the construction industry but struggled to find work when the Covid pandemic struck.
Mr Smithson said Kadriaj agreed to become involved in looking after the plants but was not responsible for setting up the cannabis factory.
He added: "He was presented with an opportunity and he took it out of desperation in order to feed himself and to be provided with accommodation."
Judge Rodney Jameson QC jailed Kadriaj for 32 months.
He said: "It is said that because of the difficulties with finding employment, you took advantage of an opportunity to become involved in the production of cannabis.
"It is also said that that is the only choice you had.
"I will take into account the difficulties caused by the loss of lawful employment but I cannot accept that you had no other choice."
Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United. With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.