Trafficked man jailed after police raid cannabis factory in terraced Northampton house

Every room in the house had been converted over to growing the plants, which were worth up to £392,000 on the street

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 6:00 am

A man who was trafficked into the UK and set to work running a cannabis factory in a Northampton neighbourhood has been jailed.

Laurant Hila was arrested at the scene after officers broke down the door of a terraced house in Euston Road in December.

Inside, they found every room in the property had been converted over to growing cannabis by knocking through walls and bypassing the national electricity grid.

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Laurant Hila was arrested in a police raid on a terraced house in Euston Road.

In total, officers found 467 plants in the house, worth a maximum street value of up to £392,000.

At Northampton Crown Court yesterday (March 9), Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking told the 42-year-old: "That's a significant level of likely profit for those who you were assisting.

"You engaged yourself in a serious criminal activity and it can only be sentenced with immediate custodial imprisonment."

The court heard Hila had been tending the grow in Euston Road since for two months but had been trafficked into the UK in 2019.

A total of 467 plants were uncovered at the house, worth a maximum of £392,000 on the street.

He reportedly was over £10,000 in debt to his traffickers, who he had paid to help him escape Albania where a gang that was threatening him.

He applied for asylum but reportedly had no legitimate way of earning income and could not claim benefits. He was then recruited to grow the cannabis in Far Cotton.

Hila was sentenced to eight months in prison.

The raid in December was the second time in 2020 officers shut down a cannabis factory growing out of a house in Euston Road, after a similar bust in February.

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And another set up was discovered in June growing out of the former Nationwide building on St Leonard's Road less than 100 metres away.