Dad joined Hull cannabis farm to pay off traffic debt

A father-of-two’s dreams of finding work in the UK were shattered when he was jailed for gardening a cannabis farm in Hull producing 35kg of weed.

Albanian national Edward Luca asked a criminal gang to smuggle him into the country so that he could find cash work and send money home to his partner and his two children, aged two and two. seven years.

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But entering the country came with a prize of £ 12,000, which the 37-year-old was told he could repay by growing weed on a terraced property on Blaydes Street.

Luca had only been in the UK for two months when the farm was destroyed by Humberside Police Operation Galaxy in September, in a series of raids in which six people were arrested.

Hull Crown Court learned he tried to escape and escape through a six-foot wall when police raided the house where he also lived.

Rue Blaydes, Hull

Luca was arrested after a search of the house uncovered 70 cannabis plants as well as prepared weed and growing equipment.

He pleaded guilty the next day before the Hull Court of First Instance for producing a class B drug.

Prosecutor Chloe Ogley said the operation Luca was carrying out was “capable of producing significant amounts of” cannabis “for commercial use.

Defense lawyer Rachel Scott told the court that Luca came to the UK illegally because rent in Albania left him unable to pay for emigration through official channels.

“The accused did not cover himself with glory,” she said.

“He got involved with a group of Albanians who agreed to transport him illegally into the country.

“It wasn’t until he arrived in the UK that he was told the cost owed to them was £ 12,000. This is how he got involved in the gardening of this factory. of cannabis.

“He accepts that he was not a victim of modern slavery, even though he was under pressure to garden to pay off a very heavy debt. He intended to pay off the debt and find work. in the construction industry because he is a tiler by trade. “

Miss Scott added: “You could say that this experience dissuaded him from wanting to return to the UK.”

Edward Luca was jailed at Hull Crown Court after being arrested for working on a cannabis farm to pay off debt owed to an Albanian gang in return for his stint in the UK.

Imprisoning Luca, His Honor Judge Tremberg told him that “your presence in this country was a serious violation of our immigration laws”, adding that the operation to which he was part “was sophisticated”, although it played only a minor role.

Luca, who has never been convicted, has been jailed for 20 months and will serve half of his sentence before being deported.

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