A court has heard an Illawarra man who was "trying to relive his youth" became "good at growing plants" - but those plants were illegal cannabis.
Former Unanderra resident Tyson Profilio pleaded guilty and was sentenced for supplying cannabis and cultivating prohibited plants in Wollongong Local Court on Friday afternoon.
Profilio was busted with almost 50 cannabis plants, worth about $100,000, in a "sophisticated" hydroponic setup after police raided four industrial units owned by his father in October last year.
Magistrate Susan McGowan sentenced him to five months jail, which was backdated to October 10, 2019, the first day he was refused bailed and remanded in custody.
Profilio, who now lives at Lilyfield, spent almost six months in prison, before he was released and subject to house arrest until July 7, when his bail conditions were relaxed.
He was also sentenced to a 15-month intensive corrections order to serve in the community.
In court on Friday, Profilio's lawyer Ben Hart said his client had a "curse of his own good fortune" because he was "good at growing plants".
"He would smoke two to three ounces a week back then and grew it for personal use," Mr Hart said.
"He didn't expect that many plants to survive but they did."
Mr Hart said his client got "no monetary benefit" and therefore the seriousness of the supply charge was towards the lower end as he only occasionally gave some cannabis to his friends.
"Mr Profilio was having a mid-life crisis at the time and was trying to relive his youth," he said.
Mr Hart also noted at the time of the offence, his client was suffering from mental health issues, drug use and a relationship breakdown.
In documents tendered to court, Profilio met police at the door of one unit and proceeded to walk them through the crime scene on October 10.
Police discovered 47 cannabis plants ranging in size from 10cm to 100cm high, along with fertilizer, grow boxes, a cultivation station, fans, charcoal filters, cannabis seeds and "copious" amounts of cannabis leaf (5.1kg in total) during the search.
Profilio told police he grew all the plants for himself, although did admit he "gives some away to friends on occasions" and told them he was the only one to have full access to the units other than his elderly father.
Police also located a gel pistol and a magazine in a drawer next to Profilio's bed.
He was arrested and taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station where he was charged with cultivating a prohibited plant, supplying cannabis, and possessing an unauthorised pistol while two counts of possessing prohibited drug were withdrawn in court.
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