Trafficked Man Forced to Oversee Cannabis Factory Sentenced - Albanian Man Sentenced for UK Cannabis Production

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Albanian Man Sentenced for UK Cannabis Production

A 25-year-old man who claimed to have been trafficked into the UK by an Albanian criminal gang to look after a cannabis factory has been sentenced.

Leonardo Capja was arrested at a house in Ashby Drive, Rushden, after officers from the East Northants Neighbourhood Policing Team executed a warrant under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act on Friday, September 29, last year.

During the search of the house, Capja attempted to escape out of a bathroom window, before presenting himself to officers at the top of the stairs. His appearance suggested that he’d just woken up.

In addition to the 100-120 cannabis plants, which were spread across various rooms, officers seized equipment required to produce the Class B drug, including 40 transformers, 38 lamps, 10 fans and five LED lighting units.

Capja, who was the sole occupant of the house at the time of the search, was arrested and during his police interview, provided a statement in which he claimed he had been forced to maintain the upkeep of the plants to pay off a £15,000 debt he owed to the gang.

The prepared statement also referenced that Capja didn’t want to enter the UK to carry out criminal activity, but his intention was to send money back to his family and that he was very sorry.

Capja, of no fixed address, was charged with the production of a controlled Class B drug – namely cannabis – and appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, September 30.

He was remanded in custody and his case was committed to Northampton Crown Court for trial, however he pleaded guilty at a hearing on Tuesday, January 9, and was sentenced to 12 months in prison and ordered to pay £187 victim surcharge.

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