“I have never seen a cannabis plant in my entire life,” a 57-year-old man from Koekange told the court in Assen this week. A large cannabis nursery was found in the shed next to the home of the man and his wife last March. The 1000 plants had just been harvested.
The big, tough man sat crying in front of the judges. His wife, too, sat sobbing behind him in the courtroom.
The public prosecutor is convinced that at least the man was involved in the weed farm. The illegal nursery in Koekange came to light in March last year due to a malfunction report to Enexis. A network measurement revealed the cause of the malfunction at the suspect’s address. The pattern indicated the presence of a cannabis farm. That is why the police were called in.
Officers saw an extraction system outside that was making a lot of noise. In the barn, near the house, there was a strong smell of hemp. The power was illegally tapped through cables to the meter cupboard that was located in the couple’s bedroom. The man professed to high and low that he knew nothing. He said that a boy had reported to him in a black Volkswagen Caddy who was involved in polishes and wanted to start his own business. “He once sold me a cleaning machine. That’s how I knew him.”
Money in toolbox
According to the man, he rented out the bedrooms and the attic in the barn for 500 euros a month. The cash was put in a tool box in the shed every month, the suspect said. “I never saw, heard or smelled anything. If it were, I would have gone to investigate. I’m not one to get cheated on. But that has now happened. I’m not into drugs. If I had known, I would have gone over it with a brushcutter.”
The prosecutor finds the story unbelievable. “The barn is two meters from his house. Officers hear the exhaust and smell a strong hemp smell. A professional nursery has been found in the barn, insulated and finished. Entire installations have been set up and a lot of material has been brought there. And the suspect says: I didn’t know. I don’t feel responsible.”
Tenant name unknown
About the alleged tenant, the officer said: “There is no lease and the suspect does not know the name of the tenant. His phone number is also untraceable, because it turns out to be prepaid.” The man has been demanded 180 hours of community service and 1 month in prison. If it is up to the public prosecutor, he must also repay 122,000 euros to the State. That is the money earned from the nursery with 1 harvest. The court will rule in two weeks.