Three guilty in cannabis business following a bust on a property where 12kg of the drug and a pig, who was supposedly complicit in the operation, were found.
Three guilty in cannabis business following a bust on a property where 12kg of the drug and a pig, who was supposedly complicit in the operation, were found.

Pig ‘engaged’ in cannabis growing operation, court hears

THREE Darwin men have pleaded guilty to growing and selling cannabis following a major drug bust on a rural property where about 12kg of the drug, almost 400 cannabis plants and a pig, who was supposedly complicit in the operation, were discovered.

Matthew Chicco, 43, Julian Carli, 41, and Thomas Blount, 32, all appeared in the Darwin Supreme Court last week and each pleaded guilty to charges including cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis.

The court heard police searched the Fly Creek property, which was rented by Carli, in August last year and discovered a sophisticated hydroponic cannabis operation.

They seized a large number of cannabis plants and plant material and arrested Chicco, who was at the property at the time.

Two hours later, police pulled over Carli and Blout as they were driving to the property.

They searched their vehicle and seized about 110g of cannabis material, $2500 in cash and a range of equipment bought for the hydroponic operation.

According to the statement of agreed facts tendered in court, the pair lied to police about their address before police found and searched their actual address, seizing almost 5kg of cannabis.

Police also seized "what appeared to be a shopping list of items used in hydroponic cultivation".

While giving evidence in court on Tuesday, Carli told the court there were also a number of farm animals living on the Fly Creek property, including a pig who "engaged" in the cannabis operation.

"Yes the pig did engage, yes, he did," said Carli.

When asked by his barrister if the pig was affected by the cannabis, Carli replied: "I think the pig liked it."

Originally published as Pig 'engaged' in cannabis growing operation, court hears


5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

5 myths about The Northern Star we want to bust

OPINION: Our journos have been covering news that matters on the Northern Rivers...

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Qld opening with NSW now in doubt

Queensland border: Opening with NSW in November may be in doubt