FIREFIGHTER RECEIVES FIVE MONTHS FOR GROWING POT
A Vancouver firefighter whose luck ran out after harvesting 32 crops of marijuana was sentenced to five months in jail yesterday.
Surrey Provincial Court Judge Harvey Field called Randall Jones' decision to grow pot during a 24-year firefighting career an "ill-conceived venture."
How much Jones, now 48, netted over his years in the grow-op business is open to speculation.
The value of the 372 pot plants found in the Delta home was estimated at between $53,000 to $140,000. Multiplied by 32 crops, that could mean that Jones collected between $1.5 million and $4 million before being apprehended.
Field noted that the Canada Revenue Agency has been following Jones's progress with interest.
The Canada Revenue Agency has obtained a $500,000 lien on the family home and is seeking between $500,000 and $600,000 in tax revenue in connection with the illegal activity.
Jones pleaded guilty, and his lawyer said Jones was prepared to be jailed.
"In his mind, going to jail was the right thing to do," said defence lawyer David Albert.
"There is genuine remorse."
After his sentence was handed down, Jones was handcuffed and led away.
Charges against his wife, Shirley Lum, were stayed.
The Vancouver Fire Department has fired Jones, which Albert said cost him about $1 million in anticipated salary, as well as pension losses.
The five-month sentence was agreed to by Crown and defence lawyers.
The judge said he took into account Jones's lack of a criminal record, but also the fact that Jones grew the pot at his home, where his three boys live.
The judge also noted the house is near an elementary school.
He described marijuana grow-ops as an "epidemic" and a "plague."
Jones may be out after serving two-thirds of the five-month term.