Two brothers from east London have been jailed for 22 months each for running a “significant and commercial” cannabis farm in Camberley .
Owais Hussain, 36, of Duke Road, Ilford, and Al-Rashid Mohamad, 39, of Avenue Road, Romford, were said to have played a “significant role” in operating the cannabis farm in a disused London Road kebab shop prior to their arrest in January 2016.
Richard Cherrill, prosecuting, told their sentencing hearing at Guildford Crown Court on Thursday (September 27) that police had found 116 cannabis plants at the property where Mohamad was the leaseholder.
Both men had previously pleaded guilty to cultivating cannabis and Hussain had also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis.
Mr Cherrill added that there were “boxes of dried cannabis indicating a harvest” with a potential street value of between £183,000 and £286,000.
Both men were said to have played a significant, but not leading, role in a larger drugs operation, frequently travelling from east London to Camberley for this purpose.
Mr Cherrill said: “It is the prosecution’s understanding that the prime mover was a citizen of Albania with whom the defendants were in frequent contact.”
In one text referred to at the hearing, Hussain asked the third man “What’s our cut?”
“Five thousand,” was the reply.
Speaking in mitigation, Hussain’s barrister Andrew Kerr said he had a steady job, operating a franchise for delivery company DPD, and was the main source of income relied on by his wife and two children.
Mr Kerr urged the judge, Mr Recorder Prior, to take into account “the steps he is trying to take to roll himself out of this particularly dark period of his life” when passing sentence.
However, Mr Recorder Prior said an immediate prison sentence was “the only appropriate sentence”.
He said: “There is nothing before me that has in any way satisfied me that the factors arguing for suspension are engaged.
“The primary offence I am concerned with is a very serious offence. It was relatively large scale, it was certainly a commercial operation.” Both men were sentenced to 22 months in prison for cultivation of cannabis, of which the judge said they would serve half.
He passed no separate sentence on Hussain for possession of cannabis owing to the small amount that had been found on him, and ordered that the drugs and equipment seized from the London Road premises be destroyed.
An additional charge of possession of cannabis with intent to supply was ordered to lie on file for both men.