Following the discovery by Dorset Police of a factory producing millions of pounds worth of cannabis on the Sandford Lane Industrial Estate, three men have been sent to prison.
Kastriot Aliaj aged 31 and of no fixed abode, Leonard Bruci aged 27 and of no fixed abode, and Arber Aliaj aged 23 and also of no fixed abode, were all sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court.
Police received a tip off from a member of the public
The men, all of Albanian nationality, were arrested after the police received a tip off from a member of the public. Officers raided a number of industrial units at around 11.45 pm on Friday 27th December 2019.
According to Dorset Police, they discovered that the units had been knocked through to form a single large cannabis growing facility, with the building separated into different growing zones using plastic sheeting. They discovered a number of plants at various stages of growth.
Leonard Bruci, Arber Aliaj and another man were found on the premises and Kastriot Aliaj had been earlier stopped in a white van acting suspiciously.
The fingerprints of Arber Aliaj and Leonard Bruci were found on various items of growing equipment in the factory. Phone records showed that Kastriot Aliaj had been in repeated contact with the others and appeared to be travelling between Birmingham and Wareham on a regular basis.
Estimated value between £594,160 and £1.78 million
The police found over 2,000 plants, including cuttings and seedlings with an estimated value between £594,160 and £1.78 million. A drugs expert said the factory had the potential to produce cannabis to an estimated value of between £2.376 million and £7.129 million a year.
Kastriot Aliaj was found guilty of being concerned in the production of a class B drug and acquiring, using or possessing criminal property. He was sentenced on Monday 29th March 2021 to five years in prison.
Arber Aliaj and Bruci both admitted an offence of being concerned in the production of a class B drug at an earlier hearing on Friday 26th June 2020. They were sentenced on Friday 29th January 2021 to two years and three months in prison.
A fourth man, aged 47 and of no fixed abode, was also charged with being concerned in the production of a class B drug but the jury did not reach a verdict in his case following a trial and he will face no further action.
“A major operation to produce illegal drugs”
Detective Constable Declan Cummings, of Dorset Police, said:
“These men were clearly involved in a major operation to produce illegal drugs and thanks to information received from a member of the public, we were able to uncover their factory and seize a significant quantity of cannabis.
“We are fully aware of the detrimental impact the supply of illegal drugs and related activity has on our communities and we will do all we can to disrupt the efforts of those involved in the supply chain.
“Anyone with information about drug related activity in their area is urged to contact us at www.dorset.police.uk, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 101.”