Red Deer man faces sentence over drug grow-op

A thumbprint discovered on a high intensity light used in powering a marijuana growing operation proved to be a key factor in convicting a drug dealer on Tuesday.

A thumbprint discovered on a high intensity light used in powering a marijuana growing operation proved to be a key factor in convicting a drug dealer on Tuesday.

Jay Hein Tang, 42, of Red Deer will be sentenced today after he was convicted of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and the theft of electricity following a two-day Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench trial.

Tang should be sent to jail for two to two and a half years, argued federal Crown prosecutor Dave Inglis.

Justice June Ross of Edmonton said she needed time to assess the appropriate sentence after defence lawyer Lauren Garcia lobbied for a conditional sentence to be served in the community.

Tang was busted by RCMP in November 2007. They found 586 marijuana plants in various stages of growth at a residence on Selkirk Boulevard in Sunnybrook.

Ross heard the value of the operation was estimated at between $750,000 and $1 million yearly if three crops were harvested.

The operation was conducted in the basement and was powered by electricity that Tang had diverted from the City of Red Deer power lines.

Ross said the most compelling evidence was that Tang’s thumbprint was found on the socket of a light designed to illuminate plants and covered by a large shade.

“There’s just no way of explaining that piece of evidence,” the judge said.

His fingerprints were also found on 11 beer bottles throughout the house.

Tang contended he had rented the house to a couple of men whose names he couldn’t remember. He also couldn’t provide documentation about the rental agreements or receipts of rent.

Garcia, in her summation, said her client was afraid to tell RCMP the men’s names because of the fear of retaliation.

Inglis said Tang’s evidence was contrived because it was vague and evasive.

Inglis argued that a conditional sentence isn’t warranted because at least four other convictions in Red Deer in the last year for similar offences have all resulted in jail terms.

“Looking at this in a bigger sense, the judiciary in this community have resisted conditional sentences.”

He said when a person sets up a grow operation of this size, their action is a danger to the community.

Just Posted

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Photos: Lunchtime tunes on Alexander Way

Final concert of the summer

Clearwater regional firefighters in B.C.

Crew operating west of Prince George

WATCH: Feasting at Red Deer Ribfest this weekend

Ribfest runs until Sunday at Rotary Recreation Park

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Calgary police officer seriously injured

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says one of its officers was… Continue reading

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

MONTREAL — Canadian politicians are adding their voices to the international reaction… Continue reading

‘Four of a dozen kids will not make it:’ Tina Fontaine’s family healing together

WINNIPEG — Melissa Stevenson was just starting her career 18 years ago… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $16 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $16 million jackpot… Continue reading

Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Berlin, protected by police

BERLIN — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colours of the… Continue reading

Romanian trucker is Genoa bridge’s 43rd victim

GENOA, Italy — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times… Continue reading

1 dead, 6 injured after building collapse in Nigeria capital

ABUJA, Nigeria — An emergency response chief says one person is dead… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month