B.C. Provincial Court, Kelowna, 22 October 2002
Joseph Hutchings, 42, pleaded guilty to cultivation, possession for the purpose of trafficking and to theft of electricity in respect of 3,500-plant grow operation. He had two previous convictions for trafficking. In each case he alleged he had been pressured by the Hell’s Angels to set up a marijuana grow operation. He had convictions for theft of electricity, assault and aggravated assault.
The Court found it would send the wrong message to organized crime to treat Hutchings leniently. He was given three years incarceration and was ordered to repay $11,250, the cost of electricity stolen over one growing season.