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HMA v Illir Kasa


Feb 21, 2024

At the High Court in Stirling today, Judge Craig sentenced Illir Kasa to 8 years in prison. Kasa had been found guilty of charges relating to the production of cannabis with an aggravation relating to his involvement in serious organised crime.

On sentencing, Judge Craig said:

“The matters to which the charges relate are all aspects of the same organised criminal operation for the production and supplying of cannabis. This was a commercial and sophisticated operation run from two separate locations in different parts of the country. It is clear from the evidence that you played a role in helping to procure the premises at Great Western Road and that you sourced and supplied some of the equipment which was used at both locations. While that may not have been the industrial equipment used in the production of the cannabis, it was nevertheless part of what was required to allow these cannabis factories to operate.

I am satisfied that you must have had some awareness and understanding of the scale of the operation and that you were involved along with others in its operation. There is no suggestion that you were coerced or pressurised into being involved and in the various CCTV recordings showing you procuring items for the cannabis farms, you appeared to be taking an informed and active role.

The evidence about the production operation made it clear that the cannabis farms were capable of producing significant quantities for commercial use and were described by the officers as large scale operations.

There are a number of aggravating factors. First your previous conviction for possession of cocaine with intent to supply. The sentence you received – 56 months – together with the confiscation of £21,500 – suggests that the quantity of cocaine involved was substantial. In your evidence you gave a very careful answer that you did not know how to produce or supply cannabis which was sufficiently precise not to entitle the AD (Advocate Depute) to ask about your previous conviction – but it is clear that you have been involved in the drugs business at a serious level, and indeed all of the charges include serious organised crime aggravations.

Other aggravating factors include the likely extent of the supply and the profit to be made from this ongoing and large scale operation as can be seen from the presence and nature of the specialist equipment.

While the AD withdrew the charges of bypassing the electricity system the fact that each of the premises involved unlawful access to electricity, is a further aggravating factor.

In sentencing you today, I have taken account of all that has been said on your behalf, including the disruption to your family life. I have also had regard to the principles of punishment, deterrence and public protection which are all of considerable importance in charges such as these.

Drawing this together, I am satisfied that a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal. In selecting sentence, I had regard to the close connection between the charges of which you have been convicted and propose to impose a cumulative sentence which covers them all.

I impose a cumulo sentence of 8 years backdated to the date of your remand in custody. All of the charges are aggravated by a connection to serious organised crime, and that will be reflected in the court’s record of those convictions. Since, however, the factors in the evidence which engaged the aggravations are essentially the same matters which formed the basis for proof of the charges, that sentence is no different to the sentence which I would have imposed upon you had you been convicted of those offences without the aggravations.”