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Nottingham bungalow becomes £1m ‘pharmaceutical factory’

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Two men who helped turn a suburban bungalow into a thriving pharmaceutical factory have been imprisoned.

Cannabis with a market value of around £1m was confiscated when officers raided the property in Lucknow Drive, Mapperley, on 10 September this year.

Inside, they found an extensive lawn growing, with more than 1,400 mature plants crammed into multiple rooms across the detached and secluded property.

Factories were taken and destroyed, and a range of sophisticated farming equipment was put to use.

A CS spray, a telescopic baton and a quantity of cash were also seized.

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Jevgenj and Babkov, 24, and Noyes Kastenas, 20, were arrested at the scene.

When questioned by officers, they admitted that they tended the plants but claimed that they were hired by others to live and work at the address.

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The two men later pleaded guilty to the cannabis production charges and appeared in Nottingham Crown Court on Friday (12 November) for sentencing.

Babkov, who previously worked on Lucklnow Drive, was imprisoned for a year and ten months.

Kastenas was imprisoned, also known as Lucknow Drive, for one year and six months.

PC Brian Dacunha, of Nottinghamshire Police, led the investigation. He said, “According to the local intelligence, we executed an arrest warrant in one large and separate floor.

“The building has been transformed into a very large, sophisticated and profitable pharmaceutical factory, with mature cannabis plants in multiple rooms in the house.

“As with most similar types of cannabis, the property’s electricity was overrun and left in a very dangerous condition.”

Inspector Carl Thomas, District Commander of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Clamping down on drug-related crime is a top priority for the local police team. However, I recognize that some people still see this as ‘just a little weed’ and that we must focus on different issues.

But in reality, this kind of large-scale growth is often associated with ruthless organized criminal gangs inside and out whose members would not think twice about using extreme violence to protect their investments from other equally ruthless criminals. Growing home weed can also create a very high fire risk on nearby properties and Nottinghamshire Police will tolerate it.”

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