Jail 'inevitable' for drug-dealer

A New Plymouth man selling cannabis "to all and sundry" would inevitably face jail, the district court judge told him yesterday.

Police found cannabis at the home of Alten Simon Chadwick, 41, during a search on February 13.

He admitted charges of cultivation and possession of cannabis for supply, the theft of electricity and receiving tools stolen in a burglary.

On the dining table was a cardboard box containing 17 tinnies of good quality head.

Also inside the box was a tin containing 1.1 grams of dried cannabis plant material. Another 6.7g of cannabis was found in a glass jar in a kitchen cupboard.

Police found $3420 in cash in an old wooden clock on the dining table.

Under the house 71 cannabis plants were growing in a child's swimming pool.

Two mature cannabis plants, about 120cm high, were found inside a small room lined with silver paper.

Drug-growing paraphernalia, including electrical power leads, power transformers, silver ducting and heat lamps, was found throughout the house.

In total, $1073.10 of power was stolen from Energy Direct NZ since November 2012 as the power metre box had been bypassed with electrical cabling.

Chadwick admitted setting up the cannabis growing rooms and cultivating and selling tinnies for $20 each.

Chadwick's lawyer, Barry Henderson, accepted the operation was cultivation on a commercial scale and that the money found must be forfeited under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Chadwick decided to grow his own cannabis because he was sick of spending so much money going to local tinny houses, Mr Henderson said.

Judge Allan Roberts said prison for Chadwick, who was an old hand at growing cannabis, was inevitable. He was unashamedly selling to all and sundry, the judge said.

The judge declined jurisdiction because of the length of the potential sentence. Chadwick was remanded in custody until sentencing at the High Court on June 21.

Taranaki Daily News