Jail time for hefty drug haul

A MAN got paid to grow around $2 million worth of marijuana on a Sandy Beach blueberry farm.

Benjamin Crisp, 37, appeared in Coffs Harbour District Court, pleading guilty to two counts of cultivating prohibited plants.

The charges date to 2014, when Crisp grew 960 cannabis plants inside hot houses on the Holloways Rd farm.

It all started in February that year when a man - who was known to Crisp - told him he "wanted a break" from looking after his drugs.

Crisp agreed to cultivate the plants for him, in exchange for $1000 a week.

In a separate arrangement, Crisp would trim the marijuana plants that another man - who was also known to him - sold for around $350 a week.

In March 2014, Crisp left the Coffs Coast and was arrested for separate drug related matters.

The court was told police examined his phone that contained text messages linking Crisp to the supply and cultivation of cannabis.

Crisp was released on bail, and returned to the Sandy Beach farm in May to assist in cultivating the next crop.

In June, police searched the property and located 291 cannabis plants growing inside the hot house.

Further more infant plants were found, as well as evidence linking Crisp to a packing shed on the property where he slept.

In all, the 960 plants had an estimated street value of around $2m.

In March 2015, Crisp made full admissions to police.

The court was told Crisp had shown remorse and was now looking to start a new career in Queensland.

Judge Penny Hock sentenced Crisp to 20 months in jail and ordered the drugs be destroyed.

Crisp will be eligible for supervised parole on October 12.

Topics:  coffs harbour district court sandy beach

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