Pot ‘caretaker’ gets suspended sentence

North Shuswap grow-op included 448 pot plants, 15 pounds of dried marijuana and $2,000 cash.

  • Sep. 1, 2017 1:00 p.m.

By Cam Fortems

Kamloops This Week

A 41-year-old Shuswap man received a suspended sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.

Daniel Gordon Lee admitted to being caught in March at the scene of a rural Lee Creek grow-op of 448 pot plants, 15 pounds of dried marijuana bud and $2,000 cash.

The marijuana had an estimated street value of more than $22,000.

Prosecutor Anthony Varesi said Lee was the “gardener or caretaker” of the operation. Property owners found on site during an RCMP raid were not charged.

Varesi and defence lawyer Marvin Stern together made a joint submission to provincial court judge Stephen Harrison for a suspended sentence with a three-year term of probation.

That includes a curfew for the first year, a ban on alcohol and 10-year firearm ban.

Stern said Lee has electrical training and agreed to do some work on the grow-op. He acknowledged possession of only 196 plants, the number in the particular room were he was found by RCMP, as well as joint possession of the 15 dried pounds of pot.

Stern said the mandatory minimums for drug offences brought in by the Conservative government have recently been found to be unconstitutional.

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