Honesty puts drug dealer at risk of prison

A 52-year-old Conondale man has pleaded to growing, possessing and trafficking marijuana.
A 52-year-old Conondale man has pleaded to growing, possessing and trafficking marijuana.

DRUG trafficker Andrew Noel Hensleigh Norris will have to wait until later this week to find out if years of selling marijuana will cost him his freedom.

The 52-year-old pleaded guilty in Maroochydore District Court on Monday to growing, possessing and trafficking the drug at his Conondale home.

Crown prosecutor Michael Gawrych said police found 130 plants, a hydroponic growing set-up and a small grow house during a search in August last year.

Mr Gawrych said Norris cooperated with officers, telling them he had been selling the drug to a group of three or four people for the previous four years.

He said Norris was making about $300 a week from cash sales, which the Crown submitted had earned Norris between $62,400 and $124,800 over the four years.

Mr Gawrych conceded that without Norris's frank admissions, the Crown would not have been able to proceed on the trafficking charge.

Defence barrister Simon Lewis said his client had been a heavy user of marijuana but had submitted eight clean drug screens since July.

Mr Lewis said Norris had also sought treatment with a psychologist.

The court heard Norris was a New Zealand citizen who had been living in Australia since he was two years old.

Mr Lewis said Norris was a self-taught boat builder and repairer whose services were highly sought after.

He said Norris also received services such as fencing or mechanical work as payment for his marijuana.

Mr Lewis said Norris should be given a sentence that did not include him having to serve any time in custody.

Judge Gary Long noted the sum of money Norris was alleged to have made was substantial.

He adjourned the sentence until Thursday so he could further consider his decision.

Topics:  conondale court drug marijuana police production sunshine coast trafficking

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