Two Albanian cannabis farmers were found hiding in the loft of a Derbyshire property where they were tending to a £60,000 drugs grow.

Festim Xhambazi and Klentis Myrtezaj were both caught after police were told that the property was being used for the production of the class B drug.

Officers attended and discovered three of the rooms had been set aside for growing and drying of the illegal substance.

Both men told police they had been taken to the property by people they owed money to and agreed to tend to the crop to pay off their debts and earn extra cash.

Jailing both men for 10 months, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “You both accept you did perform a role in looking after a limited number of plants for a short period of time for money.

“You were both motivated by financial reward and you had limited understanding of the extent of the operation.”

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, said police attended the address in Market Street, South Normanton, having been informed that a cannabis grow was inside it.

She said when they carried out their warrant, at around 9.30am on November 12, they found two rooms were being used to grow the class B drug.

Miss Slater said: “In one bedroom there were 16 plants along with the usual paraphernalia associated with growing cannabis on this scale such as lights.

“Another 26 plants were found growing in the loft and there was evidence of a previous crop and more than 40 more plants were drying in a third room.

“The police’s drugs expert has estimated that depending in what quantities it was sold, the total monetary value would be £7,400 at the lowest end to £62,250 at the highest end if sold in smaller deals.

“Both defendants were found in the loft and were arrested by the police.”

Miss Slater said in interview Xhambazi, 28, told police he had been in the UK for around seven weeks and had been at the property for seven-to-eight days having been offered £700 per month to tend to the crop.

She said Myrtezaj, 24, said he had been at the property for two days and decided to stay and help his friend as he needed the money.

Neither of the men, who appeared over a video link from HMP Nottingham and were helped at the hearing by an Albanian interpreter, have any previous convictions.

The pair, both of Market Street, South Normanton, pleaded guilty to production of a class B drug.

Source:  https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/local-news/cannabis-farmers-caught-hiding-loft-4862191