FILE PHOTO: This file photo depicts what an elaborate hydroponic cannabis growing set-up could look like.
FILE PHOTO: This file photo depicts what an elaborate hydroponic cannabis growing set-up could look like. Frank Redward

'Sophisticated': Police find hydroponic room in man's house

WHAT was labelled a "sophisticated set-up" by police has landed a Gladstone man with no criminal history before court.

Ryan Charles Eugene Funnell pleaded guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court to a number of charges including producing and possessing dangerous drugs, possessing drug utensils and possession of a thing used in commission of a drug offence.

On July 21, police executed a search warrant at Funnell's address on Caravan St.

Ample in their findings, officers stumbled across a fully-equipped hydroponic cannabis growing room.

Funnell had 10 cannabis plants growing ranging from 60cm-15cm.

Police also located a bag with stems and two grams of cannabis.

Funnell told police the crops were almost ready for harvest and had been growing for up to two months, a hobby he had carried out for the past two years.

Police also located several other items in connection with the cannabis crops including pipes, utensils, scales, grinders, fertilisers, vaporisers, humidifiers, fans, hoses and duct tape - used to conceal the sound and smell of the hydroponic room.

Funnell also had a laminated poster with step-by-step instructions of how to grow cannabis.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Darrell Dalton said Funnell was very forthcoming to police and had a clean criminal history.

He noted that the set-up was "sophisticated" compared to that of one set-up in a shed.

Funnell told police he had spent about $2500 setting up the room.

Defence lawyer Stacy O'Gorman represented Funnell as a town agent on behalf of Go To Court Lawyers, based in Gympie.

She said her client had been in a stable relationship for the past five years, and bought his own house at 19-years-old after working as a trades assistant at the gas plants on Curtis Island.

Before that, he was working as an electrician-apprentice, made redundant after the company was sold.

Ms O'Gorman told the courtroom there was no "commerciality" in the production of the cannabis, and her client grew it solely for himself.

She said he used it to self-medicate symptoms of anxiety.

"He has since ceased smoking the drug," she said.

"He realises now that it was poor judgement; he is a young person with good employment and future prospects."

Magistrate Neil Lavaring placed Funnell on a six-month good behaviour bond and imposed a $1200 fine. Mr Lavaring did not record a conviction.


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