Man jailed after house fire reveals £30,000 of drugs
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A man has been jailed for drug offences after officers discovered £30,000-worth of cannabis at the scene of a house fire in Stafford.
Mark Baglin, aged 47, of Taplin Close, Stafford, was sentenced to four years and six months behind bars on Thursday (28 July) at Stafford Crown Court after admitting being concerned in the supply of cannabis, production of cannabis and abstracting electricity.
The court heard how officers attended a house fire on Taplin Close on 29 April 2020.
Colleagues from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service notified police of a possible cannabis grow inside, after spotting dangerous electrical wiring running from fuse boards along the stairs.
After firefighters had extinguished the blaze, officers searched the property and uncovered 60 cannabis plants and an electricity bypass at the property.
Baglin was arrested and a subsequent search of an additional address revealed a bin-bag of cannabis which was hidden in the loft.
In total, officers seized 3.18 kilograms of cannabis – valued between £12,300 and £31,900.
A gas company also estimate that 14,818kWh of electricity had been bypassed in-order to cultivate the grow, with an estimated cost of £2,731.
Sergeant Thomas Fotherby, the officer in the case, said: “This is an example of how dangerous and damaging drug cultivation can be.
“Baglin had bypassed electricity and installed dangerous wiring around the property which posed significant fire safety risks.
“I would like to thank our colleagues at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for their quick response to this fire which ultimately led officers to a substantial drug find and another criminal behind bars.”