Three men jailed after one of biggest cannabis factories ever discovered in Hampshire dismantled
Main article content
Three men have been jailed following the discovery of one of the biggest cannabis factories ever found in Hampshire.
Officers were conducting enquiries in relation to another investigation which led them to enter the warehouse in Millbank Street, Southampton, on Friday, 21 October at around 11.45am.
Inside, they discovered 2,012 cannabis plants at various stages of maturity and hundreds more empty pots which recently contained crops.
According to drugs experts, the factory could have an annual turnover of up to £1.6million.
A secondary building had been constructed inside the warehouse, which housed: several large production rooms with irrigation, fans, ventilation and heat lamps; makeshift offices and a conference room; a kitchen; dormitories with beds enough to sleep 12 and a bathroom. It even had gym equipment.
A CCTV system to monitor the perimeter of the warehouse had also been fitted.
The electricity supply had been altered illegally to bypass the meter, with three large cables running underground and outside the warehouse. This meant the road nearby had to be dug up so the electrical company could make this safe.
At the scene, officers arrested Rezart Selami, 29, Alfred Mamoci, 36, and Selami Lugja, 31, all of no fixed address.
The factory was dismantled over the course of a day and the plants were seized and destroyed, along with a crow bar and mobile phones.
Selami, Mamoci and Lugja pleaded guilty to production of a Class B drug – cannabis in October and appeared at Southampton Crown Court yesterday (21 December) to be sentenced.
They were each jailed for three years.
Chief Inspector Marcus Kennedy from the Southampton Neighbourhoods Policing Team said: “By taking out a factory of this scale and sophistication, we have made a significant dent in the drug supply operation in our city.
“The reason we take these cannabis factories so seriously is because of the organised crime, serious violence, firearms and exploitation of vulnerable adults and children that they bring into Southampton.
“Making the city a safer place to live is always our top priority, which is why I would urge you to continue reporting any information about drug dealing and production to us so we can take action.
“I hope this result sends a strong message to anyone producing drugs in our city: we will find you and you will end up behind bars.”
Call us with information on 101 or report it via our website.