Sweet smell the giveaway, court told

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by SiN-Drome, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. An Auckland man will go on trial for an alleged $1 million-a-year cannabis growing operation located just metres from the Auckland Central police station.

    Justices of the peace Kenneth McKay and Maryann Thompson yesterday committed David Mark Jason Everett, 32, painter, of Torbay, for trial in Auckland District Court on a single charge of cultivating cannabis that carries a maximum penalty of seven years' jail. Everett pleaded not guilty.

    In evidence presented to the court and released after the depositions hearing, police discovered the operation after entering a three-level building on Vincent St about 100m from the police station last November.

    In a leased, first-floor converted flat, lined with polythene plastic and outfitted with specialist lighting and heat lamps, they found a total of 865 plants, of which 364 were capable of being harvested.

    The operation was reported to the police by a third-floor worker, who had noticed a distinctive pungent odour engulfing the upstairs rooms with the smell of "new mown sweet hay."

    While police were at the scene the defendant arrived and was seen making a call on his mobile phone. He was allegedly heard saying: "Can you hide the stuff. . .I've been busted by the police."

    Cash totalling $20,260 was found in the car Everett was driving. The court was told the operation was capable of producing "at a conservative estimate" cannabis with a street value of more than $1 million a year.

    During the hearing charges of possessing cannabis leaf for supply, wilful damage and theft by fraud were withdrawn by the police.

    Everett was remanded on bail to appear in court again next month.

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