Seven kilos of cannabis, 450 plants found on Lawrence farms

A LAWRENCE man who cultivated thousands of kilograms of cannabis and paid his neighbour to grow a portion on her property has been handed a three-year jail sentence.

In Coffs Harbour District Court, Mark Gallagher, 57, was convicted of cultivating and supplying commercial quantities of cannabis and possessing an unlicensed firearm.

His neighbour, Lynn Burridge, 65, was also convicted of knowingly supplying and cultivating the drug.

The haul of cannabis was discovered by police in March 2012 after officers attended the home of Gallagher's neighbour.

The court was told police spotted an irrigation pipe on Gallagher's property that lead to several cages with cannabis plants growing inside.

After obtaining a warrant, police searched a shed on Gallagher's property that contained quantities of cannabis leaf stashed in sealed boxes.

A search of the home also uncovered cannabis plants, an unlicensed firearm, and cannabis oil which Gallagher told police he could sell for around $3200.

A second home on the property had 63 containers of cannabis plants and 27 smaller plants Gallagher was intending to replant.

Four cages near a dam on the property also contained 246 cannabis plants that Gallagher admitted he planned to sell.

Following the search, police searched the neighbouring home owned by Burridge. 198 cannabis plants were found on the property that Burridge admitted belonged to Gallagher.

The court heard Gallagher paid Burridge to grow the drugs on her property, and would split half the profits between them.

In all, 451 cannabis plants and 6940kg of cannabis leaf was seized from both properties.

Judge Peter Whitford sentenced Gallagher to a three years in prison with a non-parole period of one year and four months.

Burridge was sentenced to a nine-month good behaviour bond.

Gallagher will be eligible for parole on September 19 next year.



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