A man has been jailed after officers seized a £100,000 cannabis farm ready for distribution.

Police executed a warrant at an address in Rennie Street, Ferryhill, on Wednesday, May 10, following information from the community.

After forcing entry into the address, they spotted the defendant, Xhejmsi Islamaj running out of the rear of the property. PC Sewell chased after Islamaj and managed to detain and arrest him in the backyard.

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Officers searched the address, which the 25-year-old was living in, and found 115 cannabis plants growing in all three of the bedrooms on the first floor.

While in an interview, Islamaj fully admitted the offences and was charged with production of a Class B drug and abstracting electricity without authority.

Islamaj also told officers how he had moved into the property to sell cannabis to be able to pay off some of his debts.

He appeared at Durham Crown Court on Friday morning (June 9) and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

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Detective Constable Joshua Chew, from Bishop Auckland CID said: “Drugs bring misery to our communities and we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit to eliminate illegal substance from the streets of County Durham and Darlington.

“You may think you can make some easy money, but in reality it could land you in jail with a criminal record for life.

“This type of activity will continue under the banner of Operation Sentinel - a partnership initiative targeting serious and organised crime across the region.”