Two men due in court over Sunderland cannabis farms raided as part of police operation into West Balkan crime gangs
Sunderland men are due in court after being charged in connection with two large cannabis farms uncovered in raids aimed at targeting West Balkan organised crime gangs.
The two here on Wearside led to the discovery of cannabis farms at each site.
Now Ferit Lala, 30, of Ross Street, and Ariston Mardeda, 28, of The Retreat, have been charged with conspiring to produce cannabis and are among 12 men charged with the same offence following the operation.
They are due to appear before magistrates in the region today.
They are among 16 men to be charged by Thames Valley Police in connection with the eight-month long investigation into the importation and distribution of class A and class B drugs, money laundering, modern slavery and human trafficking.
The raids were supported by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), with most of the searches centring on properties in Reading.
A significant amount of cash, drugs, weapons and other items were seized during the action, which the NCA said was targeted at the “threat from Western Balkan organised crime groups.”
In addition to the same allegation, other men also face charges including being concerned in the supply of cocaine or a class B drug, possessing criminal property, money laundering and conspiring to conceal/disguise/convert/transfer or remove criminal property.
Two other men have been released under investigation and two have been released with no further action to be taken.