A man who had an intricately concealed cannabis grow in his Dunedin home could have made nearly $120,000 from its sale, a court has heard.
Campbell Jaye Wade (25) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to a charge of cultivating the class C drug.
Judge Josephine Bouchier sentenced him to nine months’ supervision and 150 hours’ community work, noting it was the defendant’s first time before the court.
Despite Wade’s lack of previous convictions, his ingenuity was revealed in the police summary of facts.
Some of the 142 cannabis plants seized by police when they raided his Halfway Bush home on October 7 last year were easily found.
Two-thirds of the crop was in plain view in the bathroom; plants ranged from 7cm-65cm in height.
However, it took a more thorough investigation by officers to turn up the remainder.
Wade had built a false wall on to one of the downstairs rooms to create an “enclosed hidden chamber”.
Access to the area, the court heard, was through a secret trapdoor inside a cupboard in the kitchen.
Once inside the chamber, police found two cannabis crops, made up of 44 plants, grown with the help of lights and fans.
Cultivated indoors in such circumstances, the plants were unlikely to fail, court documents said.
In total, Wade could have produced 351ounces of cannabis, which could have gained him $119,250, police estimated.
When interviewed, the defendant admitted ownership of the crop and that he was a user of the class C drug.
Wade said he had been growing at the address for about four months and had planned to transfer some of the seedlings outside.