Cannabis farmer caught during police drugs raid in Hartlepool jailed after 'failing to learn his lesson'

A cannabis farmer caught during a drugs raid in Hartlepool has been jailed after a judge said he had failed to learn his lesson.

Albanian Ferbent Hoxha was found inside an address in York Road where 75 cannabis plants with a street value of up to £61,000 were found.

It was discovered that the 22-year-old had been jailed for two years for a similar offence at the end of 2019 and was deported back to his home country on his release.

But he returned to the UK in May last year and shortly after being released from immigration detention went back to his old ways.

Ferbent Hohxa was arrested at a cannabis farm in Hartlepool.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson told Teesside Crown Court that police broke down the door of the property in York Road on July 5 this year and found Hoxha upstairs.

Ms Atkinson said: “Upstairs was a significant cannabis grow with a total of 75 plants. One room had been fully converted.”

Various equipment used for growing cannabis was found in a large number of bags.

Police put a street value on the drugs at between £20,440 and £61,320, or between £8,000 and £36,000 if sold wholesale in kilos.

Ferbent Hoxha.

Inspector Kelsey of the Hartlepool Neighbourhood Policing Team said at the time: "This warrant is just a small part of the ongoing work we are carrying out in Hartlepool to target drugs and drug-related crime.”

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Hoxha was also linked to another cannabis farm in Leeds found in January where 54 plants were found worth up to £55,700 at street level and £33,000 wholesale.

His fingerprints were found on growing equipment.

Ms Atkinson added: “The Crown’s case is that this defendant must have had some significant role.

"He is involved in two different farms in different counties.”

Hoxha, of York Rod, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to production of a Class B drug.

Rob Mochrie, mitigating, accepted his client was not being forced to work in the farms, but said he was still young and there was hope he could change.

Recorder Andrew Sutcliffe QC jailed him for five years saying: “It appears that within weeks or months of your release from detention you became involved in exactly the same criminal activity for which you had been sentenced back in December 2019.

"In other words, you learned no lesson whatever from the previous sentence imposed on you.”