Illegal immigrant to be deported after Ballarat drug bust

The raid on September 3, 2013. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

The raid on September 3, 2013. PICTURE: JUSTIN WHITELOCK

AN illegal immigrant who cultivated huge amounts of cannabis in an Alfredton home will be deported to Vietnam after his upcoming County Court hearing. 

Trang Van Nguyen, 26, appeared briefly in Ballarat Magistrates Court on Friday where Crown prosecutors dropped charges including trafficking commercial quantities of cannabis. 

Nguyen, who evaded police arrest for months after the September 3, 2013, raid of an Alfredton home, on Friday pleaded guilty to one charge of cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis. 

Previous court hearings have heard a police search of the Leicester Court property uncovered an elaborate hydroponic cannabis set-up consisting of almost 200 mature plants.

Co-accused Sih-Yu Wu, 31, a Taiwanese national, in June pleaded not guilty to charges including trafficking a commercial quantity of cannabis and cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis. 

Wu, who is on bail, will face trial in the County Court in coming months. 

A Crown prosecutor said Nguyen's charge related to the drugs found at the Alfredton home and cannabis seedlings found at a Main Road property.

Nguyen appeared via video link from the Melbourne Remand Centre and was assisted by a Vietnamese interpreter when he entered his plea. 

Nguyen's defence barrister Charles Nikakis said due to his client's ''illegal immigration status'' he would face deportation after being sentenced by a judge. 

Nguyen made no application for bail and was remanded to appear in the County Court at Ballarat on August 25. 

Wu will face a directions hearing in the County Court at Ballarat on August 28.

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