Police discovered an eye-watering 133 cannabis plants after smashing their way into a property in the Midlands.
Cops made the astonishing haul at a house in Stoke-on-Trent, in the Midlands, and now the gardener Sarjo Gjikola has been jailed.
He faces being deported after police discovered the drug-growing operation after raiding the Burslem property.
The officers smashed their way into the home in Staffordshire in the early hours of the morning, reports Stoke on Trent Live , our sister title.
Albanian Sarjo Gjikola was arrested when he let himself into the house eight hours later – and discovered the police were still there.
Now 23-year-old Gjikola has been jailed for 27 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Staffordshire Police raided the Bycars Road home at 2.45am on September 14.
Prosecutor David Bennett said: “They discovered that three of the rooms – the two first-floor bedrooms and the rear ground-floor room – had been adapted for growing cannabis with heating and lighting systems in place.
“The electricity meter had been bypassed. In total, police recovered 133 cannabis plants.
“They also found three Romanian identity documents in three different names and two Romanian driving licences in two different names. All of the documents had the defendant’s photograph. They were all examined and confirmed to be false.”
Cannabis-smoking Gjikola, of Bycars Road, Burslem, told police he had entered the UK about six months before his arrest. He pleaded guilty to producing cannabis and possessing identity documents with an improper intention.
Catherine O’Reilly, mitigating, said the defendant accrued debts after borrowing money to fund his mother’s medical bills.
Miss O’Reilly said: “There came a time when he had to pay that money back. He was under financial pressure to take certain steps.
“He came to this country six months before he was arrested. At first he worked as a cleaner in London. The majority of that money would go to individuals who loaned him money in Albania.
“When he came to Stoke-on-Trent he was fully aware what the operation was. He knew what he was doing was wrong. But he needed to earn money and he did what he could to do it.”
The length of the prison term means ‘automatic deportation will be triggered’.
Judge Paul Glenn told the defendant: “This was a professional set up. There was appropriate lighting and ventilation to maximise growth, provided by illegally obtained electricity.
“133 plants are capable of producing a significant quantity of cannabis. If all had grown to full maturity the yield and value would have been significant.”