THREE men have been jailed for a total of more than seven years after being discovered at a cannabis factory in Braintree.

Erion Isaku, 32, of Progress Way, Wood Green, Dren Zeqiri, 30, of Lissenden Gardens, Kentish Town, and Edlir Ganoshi, 29, of Seaforth Crescent, Islington were charged with and later admitted producing cannabis after police discovered a gigantic cannabis factory in Straits Mill, Convent Lane, Braintree in March last year.

The trio appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today where Judge Charles Gratwicke heard that they had all been found hiding in the factory as police cleared it out.

Geoffrey Porter, prosecuting, told the court Essex Police seized nearly 900 cannabis plants in various stages of cultivation, and that all three men were found hiding in the warehouse through the early hours of the morning as police searched the premises.

Police estimated the plants were worth anywhere between £142,000 to £319,000 in street value.

Sentencing the men, Judge Gratwicke said: "It is undeniable that all three of you played a significant role in the production of these plants, plants which it has been deemed by law should not be available for public consumption.

"It does not matter if you were just walking around watering the plants, you're still doing it.

"This is a very serious offence, and the scale of this operation cannot be ignored, the only suitable punishment is a prison sentence.

Isaku and Zeqiri received a total of two years and eight months each behind bars, with Ganoshi receiving two years five months in prison.