Man jailed following the discovery of a cannabis farm in Widnes
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A 24-year-old man has been jailed after a cannabis farm was discovered in Widnes.
Henri Zeqo, of no fixed address, appeared at Warrington Magistrates’ Court, via a video link, on Thursday 12 November.
He pleaded guilty to production of a class B drug and causing criminal damage and was jailed for six months.
The charges relate to an incident that occurred in Cholmondeley Street, Widnes, at around 10.30am on Wednesday 11 November.
Officers attended a terrace house in the street following a report of a strong smell of cannabis.
Zeqo was the only person inside the house, and when officers entered the property he ran upstairs and jumped out of a bedroom window.
He landed on the unmarked police car parked outside, causing significant damage to its roof, before attempting to flee on foot.
Officers successfully chased after him, arresting Zeqo on Macdermott Road.
They also discovered that the house was being used as a cannabis farm, with its three bedrooms containing a total of 66 cannabis plants.
The cannabis plants inside the house were seized, as was equipment used to cultivate them.
Chief Inspector Ian Whiley, of Widnes Local Policing Unit, said: “Thanks to information received from a member of the public, we have been able to seize a significant quantity of cannabis which could have been destined for the streets of Widnes.
“We have also been able to bring a man to justice for producing the class B drug and damaging a police car as he attempted to avoid being arrested.
“We are fully aware of the negative impact the use and supply of illegal drugs can have on communities and are pleased that Henri Zeqo is now behind bars facing the consequences of his actions.
“This case shows that information from members of the public is vital in the fight against drug related crime.
“Although this case has now concluded, our battle against those who are involved in the production and supply of illegal drugs continues.
“I urge anyone with any information about suspected drug related activity in their community to get in touch. You will be listened to and we will investigate the matter.”
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “Illegal drugs and those who produce and supply them blight our communities, causing untold damage to both those that use them and the wider society who suffer from the resulting crime.
“As police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, I know that officers work tirelessly in their fight against the supply of illegal drugs and I am delighted to hear of this latest successful result.”
There are a number signs that could indicate that a property is being used as a cannabis farm, including:
- A strong and sickly sweet smell
- Equipment to grow cannabis being taken into a property, such as lighting and ventilation equipment
- Constantly covered or blocked-off windows – cannabis farms often have constantly closed curtains, black-out blinds or foil coverings
- People coming and going at all hours or neighbours you never see
- Strong and constant lighting day and night
- High levels of heat and condensation – cannabis farms often give off heat and the windows stay misted up
- A constant buzz of ventilation – listen out for a whirring sound as the growers try to create an ideal climate for cannabis plants to grow
- Lots of power cables – offenders often dig underground to lay cables that hook up to things like lamp posts so they do not have to pay for the enormous amounts of electricity they use.
To report a suspected cannabis farm or any other type of drug-related offence, call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, give the details via our website or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.