WATCH: Moment police swoop on men behind Norwich cannabis operation
- Credit: Norfolk Constabulary
It’s the moment two men jailed for their roles in running a “very substantial” drugs operation will never forget.
Police staking out a Norwich storage facility caught Rolandas Zukas and Karolis Putriunas red handed as they unlocked a unit they expected to be filled with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of cannabis.
Instead after police had seized and removed almost 36kg of bagged up cannabis the pair were confronted by an empty space.
CCTV footage of their arrest on September 10 shows the Lithuanian nationals looking shocked and baffled over the missing drugs.
They can be seen checking they have the right unit and one is seen frantically making a phone call before officers swoop in to arrest the pair.
Zukas, 41, was jailed for three years and three months and Putriunas, 30, for two years and nine months at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday for conspiracy to supply class B drugs.
Police tipped off by staff at the rental storage who became aware of the overwhelming smell of cannabis discovered 33.9kg of bagged up cannabis heads with a street value of almost £350,000.
Other bags that contained what appeared to be sealed boxes of Ariel washing powder actually contained 2.58kg of ground cannabis worth about £28,000.
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The court heard that police estimated the unit had been used to store at least double that amount of cannabis after CCTV footage caught the pair and other men making frequent visits with bags since it was rented in June.
Investigating officer DC Ben Burton said: "This sentence is welcomed by Norfolk Police and reflects our determination to investigate large scale drugs supply.
“This type of criminality has a lasting impact on the community and so we will continue to pursue these networks, dismantle them and bring them to justice.”