Illegal immigrant jailed for cultivating cannabis farm in Blackpool

An illegal immigrant who cultivated a cannabis farm in Blackpool has been jailed for 16 months.

Friday, 15th September 2017, 12:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 11:45 am

Arjel Kodra, 28, of Egerton Road, North Shore, had come to the UK illegally from Albania and agreed to be involved in the enterprise after running into financial difficulties in London, Preston’s Sessions House court was told.

He pleaded guilty to being concerned in the production of cannabis and is likely to be deported after serving his sentence.

More than 500 plants of varying maturity were found at the house on Egerton Road – and though no specific valuation was given in court – the potential yield is believed to be more than £100,000.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Prosecuting, Neil Ronan said a warrant had been executed there at noon on August 1.

He added: “No-one answered so the door was knocked off the hinges. It became immediately apparent cannabis plants were growing there.

“The defendant was sat down in the lounge and no other occupants were present.

“The house was searched thoroughly and 514 plants were found at various stages of growth within six rooms. The grow was set up with lamps, thermometers and a ventilation system.”

Kodra gave an account he had been watering and feeding the plants and changing the time on the electronic timers.

He admitted he knew it was illegal and had been promised £700 to look after the growth each month – though he had never actually been paid.

The court heard he was told about the “opportunity” by a friend and was driven to the resort by a Kosovan man.

He had been there 10 days before the raid.

The electricity meter had already been bypassed.

Defending, Julie Taylor said: “He knows he is likely to be deported because he is in the country illegally.

“He was living in London, he had financial difficulties and was told by a friend he could earn some money in Blackpool.

“He was promised he’d be earning £700 a month but never actually received it. He was provided with food but never received the payment he was promised.”