UK: Men found hiding in pub attic above huge cannabis farm claimed they were ‘watering the plants’

Three men were found hiding in the attic of an abandoned pub which had been transformed into a huge cannabis farm.

Police paid a visit to The Tricorn in Palacefields, Runcorn after receiving reports of a group of men breaking into the property using a back gate on January 9, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Upon entering the Grade-II listed building, officers discovered 343 cannabis plants and growing equipment across three rooms, with indications that a further two rooms were being prepped to also produce the Class B drug.

Gerald Baxter, prosecuting at a trial of issue hearing last month, said authorities found Erjoni Ramaj, 24, of no fixed address; Tafil Ramaj, 24, of Balcombe Road, Horley, Surrey; and Alensio Rucaj, now 21, of High Street, Kettering, Northamptonshire in the loft of the derelict building.

A car registered to Tafil Ramaj was found nearby.

Mr Baxter said the plants were a metre tall, had a potential yield of between 9.5kg and 28.5kg, and were worth between £38,000 and £200,000 in wholesale terms, or from £112,000 to £336,000 in “street value”.

All three suspects later pleaded guilty to producing cannabis, but disputed the prosecution case that they had played a significant role.

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