Man with cannabis plants in house jailed

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Erlis Vatoci
Erlis Vatoci

A man who was found growing 449 cannabis plants inside an address in Basildon has been jailed for two years and six months.

Erlis Vatoci, 28, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the production of a controlled drug at Basildon Crown Court yesterday, Thursday, February 28.

On Thursday, January 24, we executed a warrant at an address in Kent View Road following concerns about drug activity.

As police were forcing entry to the property, Vatoci tried to leave through a bedroom window but was challenged by our officers.

Inside the property was a sophisticated cannabis growing set up, including heating equipment and 499 cannabis plants with a street value of between £125,720 and £377,160.

The drugs and equipment was seized and will be destroyed.

Inspector Rob Maile, of Basildon’s Community Policing Team, said: “We listened to the community’s concerns and acted by removing a significant amount of drugs, equipment and a criminal off our streets.

“This was a four-bedroom property that had just one room dedicated to living space.

“All the other rooms were used for the production of cannabis with almost 500 cannabis plants growing inside. These plants varied in terms of growth with some almost fully grown.

“This is a fantastic result for the community and I want to thank vigilant members of the public who tipped us off.

“Anyone with information about drug activity can call us on 101 or can report it online www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on
0800 555 111.”

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