Gympie region couple jailed over 39 plants, 3.57kg of dope
A GYMPIE District Court judge jailed a Wallu couple yesterday who were found in possession of 3.57kg of marijuana and 39 plants.
Before the court were Anthony John Quinlan, 50, and Kalwayne Sherisse Stevens, 41, who pleaded guilty to charges involving commercial drug production between September 15 last year and March 17.
They also pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana exceeding 500g in quantity.
The court was told police raided the rural acreage property near Tin Can Bay on March 16.
Officers found a "relatively basic and unsophisticated set-up" and 39 plants described as being of "poor quality with low yield."
Inside a locked bedroom in the couple's house, however, police found a locked container fastened to the floor containing about 3.3kg of marijuana.
Two drying plants and some smaller quantities took the total to what Judge Gary Long described as "some 3.57kg."
Judge Long remarked on the separate drug-related criminal histories of the two.
He accepted that some of the crop was for personal use but added: "What needs to be noted is the uncontradicted contention that there was at least in part a commercial purpose."
This was further evidenced by the discovery of scales and clip seal bags.
The judge said Quinlan had been sentenced in the Supreme Court in April 2011 for producing "an excess quantity of cannabis." But from sentencing remarks it was clear this was all for personal use.
Quinlan, who suffered post traumatic stress disorder after being seriously assaulted and also injured in a vehicle accident, was sentenced to 12 months' jail, suspended for 18 months.
"But you did not come to grips with your underlying addiction to cannabis," Judge Long said.
He said Quinlan had used the drug to self medicate for depression and anxiety and would have to seriously look at legal medications in future.
Stevens also had "some relevant history" after having left home after grade nine and being introduced to alcohol and drugs by older people she worked for.
She had developed an opioid addiction for which she had been treated over the past three months.
Judge Long said her sentence must take note of medical difficulties and an unfortunate early life but also had to include personal and general deterrence.
He sentenced Quinlan to 15 months' jail, suspended after three months for 30 months, and Stevens to 12 months' suspended after two months for two years.