BEHIND steel reinforced doors of a fortified Goonellabah house, police discovered a hidden underground bunker where cannabis was being grown.
Rodney Black, who was renting the Shearman Drive house, was arrested and has now been ordered to appear before Lismore District Court on a charge of growing a commercial quantity of cannabis.
Black, 31, now living at Girards Hill, pleaded guilty in Lismore Local Court this week to the charge and will appear before the higher court on March 8 for sentencing.
In police facts before magistrate Robyn Denes, investigating officers discovered a set of stairs leading down from the laundry to a storage area where two rooms had been built for growing cannabis.
The walls had been covered in white plastic and several fans installed.
The first room held 54 cannabis plans with another 18 found in the second room. There were also two trays of cuttings that were sewn into a growth medium with 15 analysed as cannabis.
Police stated the house had several modifications including steel reinforced doors, door frames and locks that were ‘effectively fortifying the premises’.
A camera was also positioned above the door.
Although Black was not home the owner had been leaving at the time of the raid on July 15 last year.
“I am leasing the property to a gentleman by the name of Rodney,” owner Glenn Sanders told police.
Black later said he knew Mr Sanders from Kadina High School where they had both been former students and friends.
He began renting the house from him on the understanding Mr Sanders could come and go.