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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Two men jailed after Mapperley bungalow turned into £1m drugs factory

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Two men who helped to turn a suburban bungalow in Mapperley into a booming drugs factory have been jailed.

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

Inside they found a large-scale cannabis grow, with more than 1,400 mature plants crammed into multiple rooms across the detached, secluded property.

The plants were taken away and destroyed, and an array of sophisticated growing equipment was put beyond use.

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

Jevgenij, Babkov, aged 24, and Noyus Kastenas, aged, 20 were both arrested at the scene.

When they were interviewed by officers they admitted to tending to the plants but claimed they had been employed by others to live and work at the address.

Both men later admitted charges of cannabis production and appeared for sentence at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday (12 November).

Babkov, formerly of Lucklnow Drive, was jailed for one year and ten months.

Kastenas, also formerly of Lucknow Drive, was jailed for one year and six months.

PC Brian Dacunha, of Nottinghamshire Police, led the investigation. He said: “Acting on local intelligence we carried out a warrant at a large, detached bungalow.

“The building had been turned into a very large, sophisticated and profitable drugs factory, with mature cannabis plants in multiple rooms in the house.

“As is the case with most similar cannabis grows the electrics in the property had been bypassed and left in a very hazardous state.”

Inspector Karl Thomas, local area commander for Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Clamping down on drug related crime is a top priority for the local policing team. I am aware, however, that some people are still of the view that this ‘is only a bit of weed’ and that we should be focussing on different issues.

“But in reality, these kind of large-scale grows are very often linked to ruthless organised criminal gangs from home and abroad whose members won’t think twice about using extreme acts of violence to protect their investment from other equally ruthless criminals. Domestic cannabis grows can also create a very substantial fire risk to neighbouring properties and will never be tolerated by Nottinghamshire Police.”

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