$1 million drug mistake

A TWEED VALLEY man, forced to sell his Duranbah property at a loss while facing serious drug charges, will spend five years in jail for growing a million dollar quantity of cannabis with an elaborate indoor hydroponic system in a shed.

William Michael Stock, 29, of Burringbar, pleaded guilty in Lismore District Court to the cultivation of 335 plants at Brinsmead Lane, Duranbah, on November 28, 2007.

He received a nine year sentence with a five year non-parole making him eligible for release on December 30, 2013.

He is the third member of the Stock family to be convicted of drug charges this year.

“It was a deliberate commercial enterprise for potentially big returns and the number of plants is only one aspect,” sentencing judge James Black said.

The court was told Stock began his drug offending because of a large financial debt he owed to a family member.

Stock’s sentence this week also included 12 months – to be served simultaneously – imposed after he also pleaded guilty to another charge.

He concealed a serious offence of another person at Cudgera Creek in 2008 by failing to give police information about another large amount of cannabis.

Defence barrister Graham Bassett said the second offence was not a case where his client had hindered police in their inquiries.

“He was in a very insidious position where he had an obligation to reveal to police his knowledge of these offences but knew his brother was at that property and (had a) sense of loyalty to his brother,” Mr Bassett said.

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