Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Former Local Hotelier Blames Dad for His Ties to Drugs Operation

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Former Local Hotelier Blames Dad for His Ties to Drugs Operation

Article excerpt

Byline: GEOFF EGAN APN Newsdesk

A CONVICTED drug trafficker is calling for a reduced sentence, claiming his involvement was because of his "dysfunctional" relationship with his marijuana kingpin father.

Kristen Gardner, 38, was jailed for five years in November 2014 for his role in a multi-million dollar family-run drug operation at Inglewood on the southern Darling Downs in Queensland.

Police seized 3.59 tonnes of harvested marijuana and 22,000 plants on the 2225ha property when they raided it in 2008, worth about $70 million. They found eight fields of the drug - all but one had been harvested.

Gardner appealed the decision on Wednesday claiming the "dysfunctional" relationship he had with his father influenced how much he was involved.

But the Crown prosecutor said Gardner was a major participant in the operation and the sentencing judge had already considered all the submissions Gardner was relying on.

Gardner's lawyer Simone Bain said he had already spent a significant period of time jailed in New South Wales before he was extradited to Queensland - which had not been fully taken into account in his sentencing. …

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