Essex Man Jailed For Cannabis Production Worth An Estimate £135k Following Drug Raid

Essex Man Jailed For Cannabis Production Worth An Estimate £135k Following Drug Raid

By James Simons-

A man from Essex has been jailed for a cannabis production after police officers executed a drugs raid in a south Essex town.

Bernardo Mata, 25, of Argent Street, Grays, had previously admitted a charge of producing cannabis.

He was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment at Basildon Crown Court on May 24, and an order was made for the forfeiture and destruction of 170 cannabis plants, growing equipment and two mobile phones.

Officers from Grays Town Centre Team (TCT) and the Operational Support Group raided the house where Mata was living on March 9.

Inside, they found 170 cannabis plants at various stages of growth and related growing equipment. Staff from an electricity company were called to make the property safe.

An expert witness estimated the potential yield that could have been produced as between 13.5kg and 17.5kg of cannabis bud with a wholesale value of between £47,250 and £78,750 and a potential street value of between £135,000 and £175,000.

After the hearing, PC Kieran Wright, of Grays TCT, said: “A cannabis farm of this size will bring in a huge sum of money for organised gangs which is likely to be reinvested into further criminal enterprise. Mata played a small but important part in this process.

“We know that the public has varying views on cannabis but its cultivation, sale and distribution brings misery in the form of violence, exploitation and addiction to local communities.

“A huge amount of energy is required for large cannabis grows such as this and criminals bypass the electricity supply of a premises to avoid paying for that. This causes a significant fire hazard to the ‘gardeners’ living there and to surrounding properties.

“We are committed to tackling cannabis production and drug use in all its forms and will not tolerate those who seek to exploit vulnerable people in our society and expose local residents to harm.

Cannabis Production in the UK

Cannabis, commonly known as marijuana or weed, is a psychoactive substance derived from the Cannabis plant. In the UK, cannabis is classified as a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The cultivation of cannabis for personal use or commercial purposes without the appropriate licenses or permissions is illegal. However, the use of cannabis for medical purposes is permitted under specific conditions.

Over one-third of adults (38.7%) aged 16 to 59 years who used cannabis in the last year used the drug more than once a month, with 11.5% using it everyday.






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