One of the five accused in a massive drug bust of a marijuana grow op near Veteran pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years in jail.
Long Tran pleaded guilty Monday in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday to one count of producing marijuana.
Tran was charged along with Thai Thi Pham, Xuan Vuong Dinh, Hung Van Truong and Tranh Tran in relation to a July 28, 2011, RCMP raid of a rural property south of Veteran. Veteran is 26 km east of Coronation.
Consort RCMP received information from area resident about the group, which had recently moved into the area, and they were suspicious about their activities.
Police conducted surveillance, including flyovers of the property, and gathered enough evidence to obtain a search warrant, which was executed on July 28, 2011.
During the flyovers, a number of quonsets were visible on the property.
The raid found a very large quantity of marijuana plants in various stages of growth.
It was estimated that there were between 3,000 and 4,000 plants being grown in the quonsets, which were being used as greenhouses.
Tran was found by the RCMP hiding in the bushes near the quonsets with three of the other accused. The fourth person was found in a trailer, which was where the five lived.
In his interview with police, Tran said he was just working for money.
The Crown attorney Dave Inglis said they believe the workers were sent to Veteran to conduct the grow operation for other people.
Tran said they were at the property for about a month and a half as crop sitters or hired growers.
Tran was sentenced to two years in jail, a 10-year weapons prohibition and a DNA order.
Pham, Tran’s wife, had her charges stayed.
Tranh Tran, Truong and Dinh entered not guilty pleas and had their matters set for trial on Feb. 20 and 21 in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench.