Two people have been sentenced after police discovered a cannabis factory at their home in Hatfield.
Vicenzo Piacentini, aged 36, and Dina Piacentini, aged 64, of Astwick Avenue, appeared for sentencing at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 9 January.
Vicenzo had pleaded guilty to the following offences:
Two counts of possession with intent to supply a controlled drug of class (THC shatter cannabis and THC gummy bears)
Acquiring/using/possessing criminal property
Three counts of producing a controlled drug of class B (cannabis, THC shatter cannabis and THC gummy bears)
The court sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment for all six offences, running concurrently and suspended for two years. He was ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £156 surcharge. Vicenzo was also given an eight month driving ban.
Dina had pleaded guilty to the following:
Permitting production/attempted production on premises of a controlled drug of class B (cannabis resin)
The court sentenced her to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years. She was ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £128 surcharge.
On 24 February 2023, officers from Hertsmere Scorpion Team stopped Vincenzo as he was driving along Darkes Lane in Potters Bar. Inside his vehicle, they found three pizza boxes and a bag of gummy bears which all smelt of cannabis. This was later identified as a drug named “Shatter” and cannabis gummy bears. Vincenzo was arrested and as a result his home was searched.
During the search, officers located a room that had been converted into a cannabis farm. They also found equipment in an outhouse which was used for the melting down of cannabis resin into “Shatter”.
Dina was in the house and arrested too.
With assistance from the constabulary’s Operational Support Group and the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, evidence was gathered and the cannabis farm was dismantled.
After lots of hard work - including sifting through exhibits, phone downloads, forensic examinations, drug analyses and body worn footage - the Crown Prosecution Service accepted charges against both offenders.
PC Devine said: “Cannabis farms pose a huge safety risk to the innocent neighbours living next door, not to mention the impact that the drugs themselves have on the wider community.
“This case involved the hard work of lots of officers and units across the constabulary; Operation Scorpion, Operational Support Group, Case Investigation Team, Scenes of Crimes Officers, Controlled Drug Liaison Officers, and the File Quality Unit.
“We were all working with the same goal – to keep the public safe. I hope the news of this court result reassures you that we are committed to that goal.”