A man has been jailed for three years after police drone footage uncovered a cannabis farm at his home.
A drone operation over the property detected a heat source coming from Mark Lovell’s property in Chapel St Leonards.
Officers carried out a raid as a result of the evidence provided by the drone. They found what was described as a professional cannabis growing operation with the potential to produce more than £50,000 worth of the drug.
Lisa Hardy, prosecuting, said that two bedrooms in Mark Lovell’s home in Chapel St Leonards had been converted to grow the drug with a third bedroom used for growing and for storage of equipment.
Miss Hardy said: “A drone operation over the property highlighted there was a heat source from the building.
“Officers executed a search warrant. On arrival the police explained the purpose for their visit. Mr Lovell said there were plants inside the premises. He was immediately arrested.
“There were three bedrooms. Each of the bedrooms was converted for the purpose of growing cannabis.”
Miss Hardy said lighting and watering systems had been set up in the rooms and the walls had been lined. A total of 87 cannabis plants were found
“It was a professional set up. It was well established. All of the plants were healthy. If sold in one ounce deals it could have produced cannabis worth anything between £15,470 and £54,800.”
Mark Lovell, 54, of Anderby Road, Chapel St Leonards, admitted a charge of producing cannabis as a result of the police raid which took place on October 26 last year. He was jailed for three years.
The court was told that Lovell had previously been jailed for a similar offence when police found over 200 cannabis plants after they raided the same property in 2012.
Recorder Rebecca Herbert, passing sentence, told Lovell: “It is clear that you had been engaged in this for some time. It was a sophisticated commercial enterprise.
“This offence is clearly aggravated by your previous conviction for exactly the same offence. It seems you did not learn your lesson from that. “
Neil Sands, in mitigation, said that since his arrest Lovell has sought help for his drug problem.
He said: “He has referred himself to Addaction and has been doing all within his power to put matters right.”
Mr Sands added that Lovell realised that it was inevitable that he would receive a prison sentence.
Following the sentence Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: “I’m delighted to see yet another fantastic example of the impact drones can have on our operational capability.
“The investment in this equipment has already proved its worth in its cost effectiveness and in its ability to help our front line officers keep our communities safe.
“We will continue to look for new ways in which the latest technology can aid us in our drive to be the most effective and efficient force possible.”
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