Fingerprint on can of Stella Artois led police to crook who grew £60,000 cannabis farm at Leeds house

Cannabis farm worth 60,000 was found at a house on Queenswood Drive, Headingley.
Cannabis farm worth 60,000 was found at a house on Queenswood Drive, Headingley.
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A man who grew more than 200 cannabis plants at a house in Leeds was caught after leaving his fingerprint on a can of lager.

Police found a large scale cannabis farm when they raided a house on Queenswood Drive, Headingley.

Leeds Crown Court

Leeds Crown Court

Leeds Crown Court heard 183 mature plants - some up to 5ft in height - were growing in bedrooms and the living room.

A further 67 plants were found growing in an incubator during the raid on August 13, 2017.

Matthew Harding, prosecuting, said the plants were capable of producing over 7kg of the class B drug, with a potential street value of £60,000.

High-powered lighting and growing equipment worth over £5,000 was also in the house.

The electricity to the property had been bypassed and there was a high risk of fire or electric shock due to an "extreme power overload."

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Kreshni Zyberaj was linked to the cannabis farm when his fingerprint was recovered from a can of Stella Artois found in the house.

The Albanian national was arrested on January 30 this year when police officers stopped him as he drove a Ford Transit van in Doncaster.

Zyberaj, 46, of St Mary's Crescent, Doncaster, gave the officers a false name and tried to run away.

A holdall containing 129 plants, two axes and knives was seized from the back of the vehicle along with identity documents in the false name the defendant had given officers.

Zyberaj gave his real name and date of birth when he was taken to a police station.

He pleaded guilty to two offences of conspiracy to produce a class B drug and possession of another's identity documents.

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Michael Collins, mitigating, said Zyberaj claimed to have been illegally trafficked into the UK from his home country.

He said: "He left Albania, paying an enormous sum, to be put in the back of a truck for two days and was told that legal work was available to him."

Judge Christopher Batty adjourned the hearing so investigations can be made into the defendant's claims before he is sentenced.

The judge told Zyberaj: "The information you have given to Mr Collins suggests that you may have been trafficked and therefore not as responsible for these crimes as might otherwise have been the case.

"The authorities are obliged to investigate your claims and it would not be fair for me to simply ignore those claims and not allow an investigation ."

Zyberaj will be sentenced on August 22.