Man gets two-year sentence for tending to hundreds of marijuana plants

The last in a series of marijuana grow operation court cases in Red Deer has resulted in a federal jail sentence for a Red Deer chef.

The last in a series of marijuana grow operation court cases in Red Deer has resulted in a federal jail sentence for a Red Deer chef.

James Tang, 51, was sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty on Wednesday to production of marijuana.

Charges of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and theft of electricity from the City of Red Deer were withdrawn by federal Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis.

Tang was scheduled to have a three-day trial in Court of Queen’s Bench before changing his plea.

Inglis said the bust was the last in about nine raids police made on grow operation houses in Red Deer during a period of a year beginning in early 2007.

Justice L.D. Acton of Edmonton heard that a residence frequented for five months by Tang on 81 Rutherford Drive was busted on Jan. 15, 2008, by RCMP.

Police discovered 734 marijuana plants in various stages of growth and valued yearly at almost $1 million if all the crops had been harvested.

Inglis said police received information from an informant and started surveillance of Tang.

They observed him for five months going from his house to the Rutherford Drive residence on a regular basis.

Inglis said police discovered Tang’s fingerprints in the house and receipts in his vehicle for gardening supplies.

Defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton told court her client ran into financial difficulty and was contacted by another person to look after the plants.

She said he never received any money from the operation. Acton said that’s one of the hazards of commercial pot growing. “You don’t make a nickle when the crops don’t sell,” she said.

Inglis said the sentence was an agreed arrangement and conforms to other sentences handed out in Red Deer for the previous grow operations.

Acton heard the sentences ranged from two years less a day to be served in the community to 28 months in jail.

She said this agreed sentence was “reasonable and fair.”

The judge said the guilty plea helped Tang, who didn’t have a previous record.

Acton said she has some knowledge of the Vietnamese culture and knows how upsetting it is to the family and that Tang is “mortified.”

“He doesn’t need a lecture.” Those are best saved for younger people in the same predicament, she said.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

City of Red Deer to explore better — but not costlier — ways of residential snow plowing

Too many public complaints came in last winter, says city councillor

Alberta government won’t seek meeting with teen enviro-activist Greta Thunberg

EDMONTON — The Alberta government won’t seek out a meeting with teen… Continue reading

Roughly 13,000 without power days after snowstorm pummels Manitoba

WINNIPEG — The farm that has been in Jamal Abas’ family for… Continue reading

Red Deer city council supports proposed changes to police funding model

But more factors should be considered to achieve ‘equitable funding strategy’

Trudeau, Singh jockey for ‘progressive’ votes while Scheer fights in Quebec

OTTAWA — As Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and New Democrat opponent Jagmeet… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Wednesday Red Deer River Naturalists Flower Focus Group Meeting. When: Oct. 16… Continue reading

Alberta government won’t seek meeting with teen enviro-activist Greta Thunberg

EDMONTON — The Alberta government won’t seek out a meeting with teen… Continue reading

Michael Frolik gets goal in 800th NHL game, Flames down Flyers

Flames 3 Flyers 1 CALGARY — Michael Frolik scored in his 800th… Continue reading

Wild-card Nationals head to World Series with sweep of Cards

Nationals 7 Cardinals 4 (Washington wins series 4-0) WASHINGTON — It was… Continue reading

Roughly 13,000 without power days after snowstorm pummels Manitoba

WINNIPEG — The farm that has been in Jamal Abas’ family for… Continue reading

Marner has three points to help lift Maple Leafs over Wild

Maple Leafs 4 Wild 2 TORONTO — Mitch Marner had a goal… Continue reading

Trudeau, Singh jockey for ‘progressive’ votes while Scheer fights in Quebec

OTTAWA — As Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and New Democrat opponent Jagmeet… Continue reading

Canada beats U.S., ends 34-year, 17-game winless streak

Canada 2 United States 0 TORONTO — After years of watching from… Continue reading

Most Read