TWO jailed after police bust THREE cannabis factories on ONE street

-Credit:Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel
-Credit:Pete Stonier / Stoke Sentinel

Two men are behind bars after police raided three homes on the same street. One defendant ran from police with nothing on his feet after they burst through the door of one of the Tunstall properties.

The raids - on Stanley Street - saw three cannabis factories rumbled with dozens of plants seized. Now two men - Klejton Shahinaj and Kledi Hilaj - have been handed jail terms for their involvement with some of the grows.

StokeonTrentLive has reported how raids were carried out on March 4 this year where 'sophisticated grows' were found. Today Staffordshire Police have revealed how the cannabis factories were being 'powered by dangerous electricity bypasses' which resulted in engineers being called in.

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During last month's sting Hilaj, of no fixed address, fled as cops burst into one house. The 24-year-old ran off barefooted only to be caught and arrested. Inside that address and officers seized 59 plants along with 49 transformers and 49 growing lights being used to maintain the crops.

In another house, where Shahinaj, of Stoke-on-Trent, was found, there were 119 plants along with transformers and 'a sophisticated growing set-up which was a significant fire hazard'.

Shahinaj, aged 20, admitted being concerned in the production of cannabis and was jailed for five months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. Hilaj admitted producing cannabis and was sentenced to eight months at the same court.

Sergeant Chris Gifford was involved in the Stanley Street raids.

He said: "Officers across Staffordshire are regularly carrying out warrants in the area, acting on intelligence and tackling community concerns on a proactive basis. Only by working closely with local residents and businesses can we continue to build on intelligence and address the issues that are affecting local people in Staffordshire.”

Commenting on the Stanley Street operation, Sgt Gifford added: "On this occasion, we were able to safely dismantle a number of sophisticated cannabis grows that posed significant safety risks to those in the area, as well as taking drugs off our streets and putting a dent in the groups responsible for growing and selling drugs in Stoke-on-Trent."

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