Drug dealers jailed after cannabis factories uncovered
Police who brought down a cannabis factory insist crime does not pay after three drug dealers were jailed.
Altin Laska, 27, Mircea Rusu, 24, and Nicolae Pasc, 25, all admitted conspiring to supply cannabis at Exeter Crown Court on Friday.
Devon and Cornwall Police said Albanian born Laska was handed a five-year prison term, while Romanians Rusu and Pasc both received twelve month sentences.
Their arrests came as part of the force's Operation Cesta, which uncovered four cannabis factories in Exeter, Newton Abbot, Dunkeswell and Minehead which contained a crop worth more than £400,000.
Last July, detectives stopped and searched Exeter-based pair Rusu and Pasc, in the West Midlands while the pair were en route to Scotland. Around 7kgs of Class B drug cannabis was found in the boot of their car.
Those arrests then led police to Laska, who moved in to large scale drug dealing after the failure of his security company. The same month he was seen passing 4kgs of cannabis to another man before being arrested him at his home in Exmouth. While at that property, police also found two illegal immigrants, who were later deported.
Detective Inspector Austin Goss, from the south west crime unit Zephyr, said the set up of the cannabis farms was very sophisticated.
"They were organised and the harvesting of such large amounts of cannabis plants was frequent," he added.
"Organised crime groups can make large amounts of money from such activity and as a result people can get exploited and violence is often used to control the share in the market.
"The effect that we have had on this group shows that crime actually doesn't pay."
Inspector Goss said the operation has had a significant impact on disrupting the supply of illegal drugs and hoped the local community would continue to work with police.
He added: "They can be safe in the knowledge that we will take matters seriously."