An illegal immigrant was put to work in a cannabis farm to pay off his debt to people traffickers, a court has heard.

Albanian national Albion Ukperaj, 20, was a “live-in gardener” of the farm at a house in Flimby, near Workington, after incurring a £16,000 debt.

Carlisle Crown Court heard police found 200 plants worth £100,000 when they raided the Brook Street house in May.

Ukperaj admitted producing cannabis and was sentenced to 11 months in a young offenders’ institution.

The court heard the police raided the home on 29 May following concerns from neighbours and found a sophisticated growing operation which included ventilation, electrical equipment and foil-lined walls.

The electricity supply had been bypassed.

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