Man jailed over multimillion dollar drug farm
A VIETNAMESE man, who entered Australia on a travel visa, has admitted to being a part of a $2.5 million “sophisticated” marijuana farm.
The 30-year-old, who the court ordered not be named, travelled from Melbourne to Talgai, to work as a crop sitter, producing up to 400kg of marijuana over six months.
Police raids found 1825 mature growing marijuana plants in the hydroponic farm.
Neither prosecutor Stephen Muir nor defence lawyer Nathan Edridge would say why the man’s name was suppressed by the court.
Judge Nathan Jarro acknowledged the crop sitter thought he would be engaging in paid farm work when he arrived at the property, but never received any financial gain from the drug farm.
“Your offending behaviour was somewhat naive,” Judge Jarro said.
“Your role, like that of your associates, can be classified as paid worker although I note you never received any money from your work or financially benefited from the production.”
He and six others were arrested in March last year.
When the raid was first conducted, Warwick detective Sergeant Darren Tamblyn told the Daily News the drugs were “high quality and intended for distribution”.
“It was located in kilo and pound packaging,” he said.
Judge Jarro said the size of the “elaborate scheme” put the region’s community in significant risk.
“To take drugs is one thing but to help produce is another because it impacts upon individuals, their families and the community.”
The man pleaded guilty to one count of producing dangerous drugs in excess of 500g and one of possessing property suspected of having been used in the commission of a drug offence.
Judge Jarro sentenced the 30-year-old to two years’, to be suspended after 322 days.
A conviction was recorded.