Elderly Canning Vale couple accused of growing hundreds of cannabis plants refused bail

Stock image
Stock image

AN ELDERLY Canning Vale couple have been charged with growing hundreds of cannabis plants and diverting electricity illegally from the grid.

Cuc T Tran and Dzung T Tran, both 71 years old, appeared in Armadale Magistrates Court yesterday, charged with one count of cultivating a prohibited plant with the intent to sell or supply and one count of fraudulent appropriation of power.

Police Prosecutor Philip Meatyard said police obtained a warrant to search a Canning Vale property on the morning of September 21.

The property appeared to be a cannabis grow house, with windows boarded up and hydro-watering systems in place.

Hundreds of plants of varying sizes were found in the house, including 140 plants that were 50cm tall in a walk-in wardrobe.

There was another room set up for growing a further 70-plus plants.

Western Power attended the site and found that the property was tapping in to roadside power.

The police prosecutor said the couple claimed they were just paid to look after the house, but said the pair would have had clear knowledge of the illegality of what was going on, and it was an intricate and well-organised operation.

He said the Trans were a flight risk to flee the country as they hold dual citizenship, and as the charges were severe enough to warrant imprisonment, bail was not appropriate.

The couple’s defence lawyer conceded the allegations were serious, but requested the magistrate consider bail, as the pair do not have a criminal record in Australia or elsewhere.

She said there was no suggestion that the plants were visible to their part of the property, with the residential area boarded off in the home.

The defence lawyer said the pair moved to Australia in 1978 from Vietnam as refugees, and while they are dual citizens, measures could be put in place to reduce the flight risk.

She said the risk of the two absconding was low.

Magistrate Gary Wilson said the number of cannabis plants in the property meant he could not accept the couple was not aware of what was going on.

He said both the drug charges and power diversion charges were a serious matter, and he was not satisfied there were conditions to alleviate the flight risk.

Bail was refused, and the matter will return to Armadale Magistrates Court on November 7.

MORE: Cockburn man charged over alleged armed robbery with knife

MORE: Man fined over dog attack on housemate

MORE: Council ranger says more to the job than ‘just chasing dogs’

MORE: Family and friends of Johnny Ruffo rally around singer/actor as he battles brain cancer