Pubdate: Wed, 28 Oct 2015
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2015 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Mike McIntyre
Page: A4


A WINNIPEG man caught with a large marijuana grow operation in his 
home went to court Tuesday wondering if Justin Trudeau might be able 
to save him.

But defence lawyer Jay Prober had some bad news for his client - the 
prime minister-designate's promise to legalize pot in Canada wouldn't save him.

"My client asked about Mr. Trudeau just this morning and what was 
going to happen. I explained to him that it's still not going to be 
legal to grow 514 plants in your house," Prober told court with a chuckle.

Sin Kit Duong, 57, pleaded guilty to production of marijuana. He got 
a two-year prison sentence, which is the mandatory minimum for an 
offender caught with more than 500 plants.

Duong barely rose above that mark, but decided not to fight the case 
when the Crown agreed to drop charges against his wife, Thi Diep 
Tran. That's because unlike Duong, she is not a Canadian citizen and 
would likely have been deported upon conviction.

"With the stay of proceeding, she's going to be able to stay in the 
country, I'm advised," Prober said.

Police raided the couple's Fort Garry home in which the basement had 
been converted to a drug operation.

Duong came to Canada from Vietnam in 1980 and had no criminal 
involvement before his arrest. He has worked full time at the same 
job for more than three decades, court was told.

"Unfortunately, he was lured into this by someone else who he allowed 
to use his house, which he never should have done," Prober said.

His house may be seized under proceeds-of-crime legislation. defence 
submission for a non-custodial sentence, based largely on the fact 
the crimes happened many years ago and Anderson appears to be a 
changed man. He has not reoffended. He had a violent upbringing in 
which his lawyer said physical discipline was "normalized."

"I'd like to say sorry (to the victim) for my actions," Anderson told 
court Tuesday. "I realize that they were wrong. I'm not the greatest 
parent in the world. I never was."
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