Five individuals have been handed prison sentences totalling almost 19 years after law enforcement uncovered a cannabis cultivation operation in Leeds. The convictions were pronounced today at Leeds Crown Court, with the sentences ranging from 36 to 56 months.

Aurel Alimucaj, aged 43, received a 40-month sentence, while 59-year-old Fejzi Canai was sentenced to 48 months. Emiliano Licaj, 26, was handed a 36-month term, and 45-year-old Klemend Mezuri received 45 months.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by Leeds police following a raid on an industrial unit in Armley Road on 28 July last year. During the operation, a substantial 2,342 cannabis plants were seized.

The investigation was spearheaded by officers from Operation Braylock, established in September 2022. Since its inception, the operation has conducted raids on 77 industrial-sized cannabis farms across the district, resulting in 97 arrests and the confiscation of cannabis with an estimated value exceeding £20 million.

The collective efforts of Operation Braylock have led to cumulative prison sentences surpassing 92 years.

Sergeant Simon Green, the officer in the case, said; “Operation Braylock was set up to target and disrupt organised criminals who blight the communities of Leeds District through the illegal drugs trade.

“I hope this outcome demonstrates our commitment to tackling these individuals and sends out a warning to others that they can expect to face a prison sentence if they are found to be involved in such criminal enterprises.”