Police uncover cannabis farm worth tens of thousand of pounds on routine call
Police stumbled across a cannabis farm at a home Wakefield worth tens of thousands of pounds, a court was told.
Officers had gone to the address on Cross Lane in July last year to speak with the occupant on an unrelated matter, and he tried to flee when he opened the door.
Lukas Simkus was quickly detained, and a sophisticated cannabis grow was found at the property, prosecutor Jessica Randell told Leeds Crown Court.
In the garage they found 50 mature high-grade 'skunk' plants, capable of four harvests annually and could be valued between £33,000 and £110,000.
There was also 52 plants in a rear room of the house. Both rooms were kitted out in heaters, fans, control clocks and lamps.
Several small bags of dried cannabis were found around the house also, totalling 1.24kg with a street value of £9,400.
The electricity had also been bypassed and required Northern Grid to send out engineers to make safe.
A BB gun was found, along with several mobile phones, one of which contained clear evidence relating to the sale of cannabis.
It was found that the property had been sub-let over Facebook to Simkus without the knowledge of the landlord.
During interview he told police the set-up was solely his. He said it was his first grow and had developed a habit for cannabis.
The 27-year-old, who now lives in Woodford Green in London, admitted charges of production of cannabis, possession of cannabis with an intent to supply and concerned with the supply of cannabis.
Mitigating, Jessica Heggie said Simkus, who is from Lithuania, first came to Britain in 2015 to work as a driver and began smoking cannabis.
He went back to Lithuania before returning to Britain eight months before he was arrested.
Ms Heggie said: "It's a fairly unique case, he has accepted it was his operation.
"He had never done this before and did so because he was a heavy cannabis user.
"He is clearly not living a lavish lifestyle, it is, in essence, a home-grown operation.
"He has never been before the courts before in this country or in Lithuania."
She said that he now has a job in London and has stayed out of trouble.
The judge, Recorder Nicholas Lumley QC, handed him a 22-month jail term, but suspended it for two years.
He also gave him 200 hours of unpaid work.
He said: "The police had not expected to find any of this, you were not under suspicion in that way at least.
"You admit you were involved in the commercial supply of cannabis, but it was limited and it was a home-made operation."