Drugs land man in court
TWEED landholder John Heston Trim remains on $20,000 bail after pleading guilty in Lismore Local Court to the cultivation of a $400,000 commercial crop of cannabis found at his overgrown fruit orchard near Condong, north-east of Murwillumbah.
Trim, 48, from Double View Road, told police that 4kgs of cannabis officers found in three drums was 'rubbish' he intended to throw out.
Trim pleaded guilty to cultivating 205 cannabis plants at the property on March 5; and to the possession of an unauthorised 12 gauge shotgun; and possession of ammunition for a firearm without a permit.
Police facts before magistrate Michael Dakin state that when Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah detectives arrived unexpectedly at his rural property Trim 'drove off' into bushland before being apprehended and arrested.
When taking police to a caravan in nearby bushland Trim gave officers 'a branch of fresh cannabis leaf' saying that it was for his own use.
Police were shown a drying room inside the caravan that contained gas drying implements and three plastic drums that held 4kgs of cannabis leaf. Scattered around were smaller amounts of cannabis Trim said was also for his own personal use.
Trim told police the 4kg of cannabis was rubbish he had stripped from plants and intended to throw away. But when questioned by police at the scene as to why he stripped the leaf from the plants if he intended to throw it away Trim had no answer.
In bushland 200m away from his house police were shown 205 cannabis plants that were between 2m and 3.5m in height. Police said all were in very good condition with large amounts of heads starting to form.
Police valued the crop at $410,000 and the cannabis leaf at $10,000. Trim denied any criminal enterprise.
During a walk-through of the crop site Trim told police the 205 plants were also for his own personal use.
Describing it as an 'intricate system' police stated each cannabis plant was individually irrigated from a drip-feed system fed from a water tank on a hill that was filled by water pumped from a nearby dam. A 12 gauge shotgun was found inside his house along with 20 rounds of ammunition.
Fertilisers were also found that police claim are normally associated with hydroponic cannabis cultivation and Trim told police he utilised the fertiliser to enhance the growing of his cannabis plants.
Continuing Trim's bail, Mr Dakin adjourned the matter to September 8 for sentence.