How my son roped me into a $20M pot crop at Calen
USING a canoe and electric bikes, a father and son would creep - in their minds undetected - to their $20 million drop crop and tend to the plants.
Little did Howard Kerry Lindsay and Anthony Howard Lindsay know, they were the targets of a six-month police operation.
A 72-year-old grandfather and four-time convicted drug grower, Howard Lindsay told police his son effectively "roped" him into the venture.
"I didn't really want to get involved but then again he's my son," Mackay District Court heard Lindsay told his lawyer.
Lindsay Sr, along with Lindsay Jr and his daughter Jodie Distelle Lindsay, formed a trafficking syndicate in the Mackay area.
The court heard Lindsay Jr had used Google maps to suss out the Calen site where 8209 plants were found by police on May 8 last year.
"You and your son sat at the top of the chain of distribution, being the source of the cannabis," Judge Nathan Jarro said.
"You and him used a canoe to travel along Blackrock Creek and on occasion you would use electric bikes to travel covertly to the crop site to avoid detection."
Jodie Lindsay, who will be sentenced at a later date, was the "sales representative" who made contact using the codeword "eggs" to indicate how many pounds of marijuana were needed.
The marijuana was sold to other drug suppliers only in pound - or 454 grams - lots at $2500 per pound.
"It did not vary even if multiple pounds were purchased," Judge Jarro said.
Between November 2018 and May last year the trio sold 29 pounds and one ounce for $72,500 and Lindsay Sr offered to supply another 49 pounds, which would have returned $124,000 in profit had the sale gone through.
Today he pleaded guilty to trafficking and producing dangerous drugs and possessing growing equipment.
The court heard Lindsay Sr had been on parole at the time for a total 8.5 year sentence following cumulative terms handed down in both the supreme and district courts.
While this made the pensioner's offending more serious, barrister Scott McLennan said his client's role was less than that of his son.
It is the second time the father and son have faced court for a million-dollar marijuana crop at Calen.
"My client instructs that he was asked three times to get involved by Anthony," Mr McLennan said.
"He wouldn't have gotten involved if it were not for Anthony's persistence and his desire to assist his children financially however misplaced that was."
The court heard Lindsay Jr did most of the hard work, visiting the crops three times a week, but he recruited his dad to help with "preparation, management and cultivation".
Lindsay Jr was jailed for 6.5 years early this week with parole eligibility after 22 months.
The court heard because of parity with his son's sentence, co-operation and existing jail term, Lindsay Sr's penalty should be 6.5 years reduced to four years as it must be cumulative.
Judge Jarro agreed. Lindsay Sr will be eligible for parole in May next year.