Det Sgt Tony Parsons keeps watch over the huge marijuana crop when it was uncovered in 2007.
Det Sgt Tony Parsons keeps watch over the huge marijuana crop when it was uncovered in 2007.

Elderly drug lord prepares for jail

AN ELDERLY man responsible for a 3000-plant cannabis crop worth millions of dollars pleaded guilty yesterday in the Maryborough Supreme Court to producing a dangerous drug.

Seventy-five-year old Clarence Joseph Ward, from Biggenden appeared in the court with the aid of a walking stick.

He was charged with producing the drug betweeen October 31, 2005, and January 19, 2007.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said 2982 cannabis plants, ranging in height from 20cm to 5 metres, were found in state forest adjacent to Ward's property.

Mr Cummings said the crop was being watered by an extensive irrigation system fed from a dam on Ward's property.

The estimated value of the crop was somewhere between two and eight million dollars, Mr Cummings said.

Chief Justice Paul de Jersey said it was likely Ward was facing a term in prison.

Defence barrister Paul Smith asked for Ward's sentence to be adjourned to allow the defence time to obtain medical reports.

Justice de Jersey adjourned the case to the Brisbane Supreme Court for sentence.

Ward, who previously had no criminal history, was released on bail with the condition he report to the Maryborough police station three days a week.


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