TWO men have admitted cannabis crimes after a “million pound” drug factory was found in central Whitehaven – close to the town’s police station.
Albanian nationals Xhona Leka, 28, and 39-year-old Gjergi Braculla were charged after officers discovered a huge cannabis farm during the early hours of May 24. This was located inside a property on Lowther Street, near to the Scotch Street police station.
When Leka and Braculla made their first court appearance the following day, prosecutor Tom Snape said in an address to magistrates: “Police say there were 1,300 cannabis plants at that address and suggest this is a million pound enterprise by an organised crime gang.”
Leka, of The Dene, Wembley, North London, and Braculla, of Archduke Place, New Maldon, Kingston upon Thames, were assisted by an interpreter as they appeared at Carlisle Crown Court today (TUES) for a video link hearing attended by legal counsel over Skype.
Leka and Braculla both pleaded guilty to producing cannabis, while Leka also admitted possessing the class B drug with intent to supply.
The hearing was adjourned, prosecutor Charles Brown telling the court: “We await some further evidence in relation to the valuation of the drug before we proceed to sentence.”
There are also likely to be discussions regarding a formal basis for Braculla’s guilty plea.
The two men are due to be sentenced at the crown court on August 21, and in the meantime both were remanded in custody by Recorder Michael Hayton QC.