Sheffield Crown Court: Illegal immigrant faces deportation over cannabis harvest

An illegal immigrant who was caught with 115 cannabis plants at a South Yorkshire property has been put behind bars.

Sheffield Crown Court heard on July 13 how police had been carrying out an immigration check when they found 20-year-old Skerdi Tali at a property on Ellerker Avenue, Hexthorpe, Doncaster, with 115 cannabis plants.

Officers executed an immigration search warrant, according to prosecuting barrister David Ward, and they had to force their way into the property on June 21 before Tali was detained as he tried to escape.

Judge David Dixon told Tali he was involved in growing 115 plants and there was a suggestion that the defendant was doing so for others involved in the enterprise.

Pictured is Skerdie Tali, aged 20, of Ellerker Avenue, Hexthorpe, Doncaster, who was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court to 20 months of custody after he admitted producing a class B drug following the discovery of 115 cannabis plants at his home.

He added: “You knew you were involved in a substantial grow. It was clearly being grown for a commercial purpose.”

Police discovered Tali’s Albanian identity card at the property and clothing and he said he knew he was going to get caught sooner or later before answering no comment to all questions.

Tali, of Ellerker Avenue, Hexthorpe, Doncaster, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to producing the class B drug.

Chris Brewin, defending, said: “He has been in the UK for approximately two years. He got involved in the enterprise because he owed those who got him into the UK money.

"Before he came to the UK he worked in Albania as a chef’s assistant. He is aware of the likelihood of deportation following his sentence.”

Judge Dixon sentenced Tali to 20 months of custody and told him: “On servng your sentence you are likely to be deported.”

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