Antonio Docan, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of being concerned in the supply of class B drugs, and five counts of possessing a bladed article – two machetes and three axes – at a hearing at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on April 12.
Preston Crown Court heard how on March 14 at around 3.30am, a resident of Coulthurst Gardens in Darwen was woken up by his dog growling outside.
He looked out of his living room window to see a white Ford Transit van pull up outside another house.
Two men exited the house, one out of the front door and the other from the rear, and got into the van, the first man having thrown a bag inside.
The resident called 999 and police located the van nearby, following it to a sewage recycling centre where it was found abandoned.
A police dog was deployed and located Docan in a nearby wooded area. He was arrested shortly before 4am.
An iPhone found in his trouser pocket was found to have the Waze navigation app open with a postcode for a house in Coulthurst Gardens, another iPhone found on the floor near where he was hiding was seized.
The van was searched and officers recovered 10 large bags of cannabis and a number of weapons.
The cannabis was examined and there were a total of 133 plants with an estimated yield of just over 11kg.
Mitigating for Docan, of no fixed abode, Oliver Jarvis said his client was offered money to drive the van from London.
He added he had come to the UK looking for work, and he has a long-term partner and a two-year-old child.
Sentencing, Judge Andrew Jeffries said: “In March this year you played your part in what is called ‘taxing’ of a cannabis farm.
“In other words, others entered by burglary a property where cannabis is being grown with a view to stealing it and then onward sale.
“Your role was to drive away the cannabis that had been stolen.”
Judge Jeffries sentenced Docan to 18 months for being concerned in the supply of class B drugs and eight months for each count of possession of a bladed article.
Each count will run concurrently to each other, giving a total sentence of 18 months.
This content was originally published here.