Federal Crown counsel is seeking 18 to 24 months jail for the owner of a Rosedale property busted with a largescale marijuana grow operation in 2017.
Chang Hu Xu was found guilty of production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking after a six-day trial that started in August 2019 and ended in March 2020.
(Editor’s note: A version of this story from last year mistakenly reported that charges against Xu were dismissed while another man was convicted. The Progress regrets this error.)
Judge David Silverman found Xu to be an unreliable witness in his own defence.
It was March 24, 2017 when six people were arrested at the Gillanders Road property as RCMP executed a search warrant.
Police found more than 3,200 marijuana plants in various stages of growth between a greenhouse and the residence. They also found 13 garbage bags of dry bud, which was seen at the front of the property as officers investigated that day.
At trial, an expert testified the plants could produce a crop, valued at between $191,000 and $570,000. And if the plants produced between three and four crops annually, the production value estimated at between $573,000 and $2.3 million.
“This was a large scale commercial for profit marijuana enterprises,” Crown counsel Chris Tait told the court. “Mr. Xu possessed this marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.”
Both Tait and defence counsel David Milburn appeared in Chilliwack provincial courtroom 203 in person on Thursday (July 29), but Xu appeared via video link from a residence. Also appearing on video link was a Mandarin translator, a technical arrangement that meant the sentencing hearing proceeded slowly.
The 48-year-old was clean-shaven and appeared sitting in a room in a house or an apartment.
While Tait said Crown was seeking 18 to 24 months behind bars, Xu’s lawyer Milburn said he would ask for an 18-month conditional sentence order.
The five-acre property in Rosedale where the marijuana was grown was owned by Xu, but he is, and was before the arrest, a resident of Ontario.
The sentencing hearing continued Thursday (July 29).