Man fed drug addiction through home lab, court told

A DEREEL man fed his 14-gram-a-day drug habit by establishing an elaborate hydroponic cannabis set -up in his family home, a Ballarat court has heard.

Travis Miller, 39, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court yesterday where he pleaded guilty to drugs and weapons charges. 

The court heard Miller, who had two prior convictions for drug offences, was busted by police when they raided his Dereel home about 7.30am on December 6, 2012. 

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent said Miller lived at the address with his family and

that police uncovered two rooms dedicated to cannabis cultivation. 

Senior Constable Kent said one bedroom was sectioned off with plastic sheeting

and contained a hydroponic set-up, including five mature plants. 

The court heard the property’s laundry was also used to cultivate cannabis and police found a 100 litre plastic drum containing dried cannabis. 

Senior Constable Kent said police also discovered Miller was using two bypass systems

which supplied electricity without alerting the main power meter. 

Police also found a disassembled air-rifle and a .303 calibre firearm wrapped in a sleeping bag, the court heard. 

Miller told police at the time the drugs were for his personal use and he often used

up to 14 grams of cannabis per day. 

A lawyer for Miller said her client had been a heavy cannabis user since his teens, adding personal family issues and the loss of his full-time job had worsened his use. 

The lawyer said there was no charge of trafficking, adding the cannabis for purely for personal use. 

Magistrate Michelle Hodgson said Miller had only narrowly avoided immediate jail yesterday. 

Ms Hodgson sentenced Miller to a 12-month community correction order. He must also complete drug and alcohol treatment.

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