Pot crop found growing in business coldroom
NOOSAVILLE businessman Nicolas Romer knew exactly why police had come to conduct a search at his property in March this year.
The 58-year-old led them to a coldroom at his Consolidated Produce business which did not contain usual work products.
Inside, officers found three rows of marijuana plants under high-density sodium lighting being nourished by an elaborate watering system.
They seized 171 plants which ranged in size from 10cm to 1m as well as other items consistent with growing the drug.
All up, the plants weighed a little more than 12.4kg.
Romer was in Maroochydore District Court yesterday to be sentenced for drug production.
The court heard Romer told officers he had harvested a prior crop a year earlier and the crop they found had been planted about eight weeks before the raid.
He was growing the crop because he needed money to get his business out of debt.
Police conducted the raid after receiving information from an electricity supplier about usage.
Defence barrister David James said his client had been desperate to overcome financial difficulties within his business.
Mr James said the business was now trading successfully and his client had been organising deliveries at 4.30am yesterday before coming to court for sentence.
Judge Robertson said Romer's admissions to police about crimes they might not otherwise have known about entitled him to "special leniency".
Mr Robertson said the admissions about the commercial nature of the crop were perhaps the frankest he had heard.
He sentenced Romer to 18 months in prison, suspending the term immediately for two years.