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A £1.3 million cannabis factory was discovered in Leicester after being sniffed out by a dog, which was training in the adjoining unit.

The factory was discovered last November, at a unit in Thames Street, when Leicestershire Police received a call from a security company, who train dogs in drug searches and private protection.

The security company were doing a workshop for children with Special Educational Needs and they were using the cannabis sniffer dogs to help with the children’s sensory learning.

During the workshop, the dogs have repeatedly gone to the wall of the adjoining unit where the cannabis was later found after the workshop had ended.

When officers attended the unit, they found cannabis plants of various sizes with a street value of £1.3 million.  The plants covered most of the top floor of the building.

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Picture: Leicestershire Police

During a search of the building three men were found hiding in a storage cupboard.

Subsequently, Renald Dema, Ali Hoxha and Juljan Jaku were charged with cultivating cannabis.

At a hearing in December last year they all pleaded guilty to the offence and on Wednesday (February 2) Dema, 21, Hoxha, 29, and Jaku, 24, all of no fixed address, were sentenced at Leicester Crown Court.

Dema was given two years and three months in prison, Hoxha was given two years and nine months in prison and Jaku was given two years and six months in prison.Collage Landscape.jpg

Pictured: Hoxa, Jaku and Dema

Detective Inspector Ross Dimmock from Central Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Area, said: “This was a significant discovery which not only led to three people being arrested but also stopped more than a £1 million worth of drugs hitting our streets.

“Those responsible for this cannabis factory thought their actions would go unnoticed and undiscovered but they were wrong.

“We would like to thank the person reporting the discovery for their assistance and support during the investigation and subsequent leading proceedings.

“Drugs are a plight on society and lead to criminality and the breakdown of relationships and families.  We take these offences extremely seriously and will do all in our powers to bring people to justice.”