Bradford’s top judge has warned criminals who set up large-scale cannabis farms in the district that the police and the community are on to them after two big grows worth £200,000 were busted in one day.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC jailed two Albanian men who smuggled themselves into the country and were caught red-handed tending drugs factories in Bradford and Keighley.

Sajmir Gjauri, 20, was locked up for 27 months after he was apprehended by the police fleeing from a £150,000 cannabis factory hidden behind a shop front on Killinghall Road, Bradford.

Prosecutor Stephanie Hancock told Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday that Gjauri was seen locking up the premises on June 9.

Seven rooms were being used at the commercial address to grow 300 cannabis plants. The electricity meter had been bypassed and sophisticated equipment installed to automatically water the grow.

Police then discovered a similar smaller cannabis farm next door.

Gjauri, who came voluntarily to the UK hidden in the back of a lorry several months ago, pleaded guilty to two offences of production of cannabis.

He was living at the premises and his passport was found there, along with food and bedding.

Gjauri fled the building on foot, throwing his phone into the grounds of a college, before he was arrested on Thornbury Road.

His barrister, Conor Quinn, said his client came to the UK to make money to send to his family.

“He was a labourer but he discovered he could earn a lot more money for doing a lot less by looking after the cannabis factory,” Mr Quinn said.

Gjauri had agreed to be deported, the court heard.

In a separate case the same day, another Albanian illegal immigrant caught at a substantial cannabis farm was jailed for two years.

Leonard Llapanji, 22, was apprehended legging it from a £50,000 drug grow in Poplar Terrace, Keighley, on the same day.

Llapanji, who also came to the UK in the back of a lorry, admitted production of cannabis and possession of cannabis with intent to supply.

Miss Hancock said that four bedrooms and the cellar at the house were given over to the grow. There were 78 cannabis plants, 114 seedlings and two kilos of harvested cannabis in vacuum packs.

Nearby residents alerted the police because there was a pungent smell of cannabis in the street.

Llapanji’s solicitor advocate, Tom Rushbrook, said he had worked in the construction industry in London before coming to Bradford. He had not agreed to be deported by the Home Office.

Judge Durham Hall warned criminals thinking of setting up drugs farms in the Bradford area: “The community, never mind the police, is on to them.”

He continued: “Skunk cannabis is causing the most enormous problems for users in terms of mental health well-being and contributing to serious and organised criminal activity, to which Bradford is no exception.”

The judge said he would recommend Llapanji’s deportation by the Home Office.

“I would anticipate that you will be sent packing to Albania,” he told him.