Large cannabis crop found in shed

Last updated 12:00 08/08/2014

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A Manawatu man has been sent to prison for growing a "pre-commercial" cannabis crop in his shed.

Police say he was using grow tents to sprout more than 100 cannabis plants.

Andre Etuata Bailey, 28, was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday to 16 months' jail for cultivating cannabis, possession of a pistol and bullets, and stealing a car.

He was arrested after police searched a property on State Highway 1 between Bulls and Sanson on July 12. Police also found a sawn-off .22 rifle, which had its stock removed, and 21 rounds for the illegal firearm. Bailey admitted the gun, ammunition and cannabis were his.

Defence lawyer Simon Parsons said there was no evidence the growing was at a commercial stage. Bailey was just trying to look after his family.

But Judge Stephanie Edwards said the operation was pre-commercial, with the potential to go commercial.

Bailey had to go to prison because he did not have an address approved for home detention, but he could apply for the community-based sentence if a property became available.

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- Manawatu Standard


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