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Ontario man behind largescale Chilliwack cannabis grow-op sentenced to house arrest

Chang Xu handed 18-month conditional sentence
Some of the 3,200 plants and 32 kilograms of cannabis seized from a Gillanders Road marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack on March 14, 2017 in Chilliwack. (RCMP)

An Ontario man behind a largescale cannabis grow operation in Rosedale was handed an 18-month conditional sentence in provincial court in Chilliwack on April 21.

Chang Hu Xu was found guilty of production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking after a six-day trial that started in August 2019 and ended in March 2020.

Federal Crown counsel asked Judge David Silverman to hand down a jail sentence of 18 to 24 months, while Xu’s lawyer asked for a conditional sentence order.

A conditional sentence is considered a jail sentence under the law, but is essentially house arrest with strict conditions.

During the trial, Judge Silverman found Xu to be an unreliable witness in his own defence.

On March 24, 2017 six people were arrested at the Gillanders Road property as RCMP executed a search warrant. Police found more than 3,200 cannabis plants in various stages of growth between a greenhouse and the residence.

They also found 13 garbage bags of dry bud.

• READ MORE: VIDEO: RCMP seize 3,200 marijuana plants at Chilliwack farm

At trial, an expert testified the plants could produce a crop valued at between $191,000 and $570,000. If the plants produced between three and four crops annually, the production value estimated at between $573,000 and $2.3 million.

“This was a large-scale commercial for profit marijuana enterprises,” Crown counsel Chris Tait told the court. “Mr. Xu possessed this marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.”

The five-acre property in Rosedale where the marijuana was grown was owned by Xu, but he is, and was before the arrest, a resident of Ontario.

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