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‘Large scale’ drug operation

A photo of Gordon Jensen’ cannabis operation. PHOTO/NZ POLICE

The man behind a $100,000 cannabis operation run out of Greytown and Featherston has been sentenced to home detention.

Nearly 350 cannabis plants and tens of thousands of dollars in cash were seized from Gordon Alfred Jensen on February 22, following a police investigation and raid.

The Masterton District Court heard this week that the 59-year-old had showed “little remorse” for the offending, and a great deal of time and effort had gone into the operation.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Tom Andrews said it was a “large-scale” commercial operation that produced a “very high yield”.

The Greytown property contained three rooms dedicated to growing cannabis under lights and lamps.

The first was a nursery, the second contained 26 seedlings, and the third 67 adult plants.

The total commercial value was about $40,000.

Judge Barbara Morris said it was “clearly a commercial enterprise”, and not a case of “benign offending”.

There was also 288 grams of dried cannabis, which is “10 times the amount” for which someone is considered to be a dealer, Judge Morris said.

Also recovered from the site was $65,000 in cash.

The Featherston property contained 140 cannabis plants whose commercial value was estimated to range between $35,000 and $56,000.

Jensen’s defence lawyer Val Nisbet said from the outset he believed Jensen had taken the charges “very seriously”.

At the time, Jensen said he was growing the cannabis for medicinal purposes and sold to others to assist them with their medical problems.

Jensen had two prior cannabis-related convictions, one in 1980 another in 2001, which Judge Morris said were “clearly for personal use,” and did not warrant uplifting the sentence.

Jensen had engaged in counselling, given up cannabis, and was “well regarded” in his community.

Arguably, there were “not too many defences” available, but Judge Morris said he still deserved the full 25 per cent discount for his early guilty plea.

Jensen had shown there was a real prospect for his rehabilitation, she said.

He was sentenced to one year of home detention for two charges of cultivating cannabis and one charge of supply.

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