Grow-ops net jail time

One person arrested as part of an Okanagan crackdown on grow operations in 2008 is going to jail for more than two years.

Quoc Nam Lam was sentenced in Vernon Supreme Court this week to two years less a day in jail after pleading guilty to production of a controlled substance, and was given an additional six-month sentence to be served consecutively for a Criminal Code charge of unlawful storage of a firearm by Judge Geoffrey Barrow.

Four other counts against Lam were stayed by Crown counsel.

Lam had spent one month and one week in pre-trial custody while awaiting his bail to be fixed. Lam’s lawyer asked to have credit for time served, which the Crown opposed. He was not given credit for time served.

Lam, his sister, Thi Dung Lam, and Qui Tanh Vo, who was in a relationship with Thi Lam, were arrested in May 2008 after police officers from Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Falkland, Kelowna and Kamloops executed warrants at properties near the communities of Enderby, Armstrong and, in this case, the 5300 block of Highway 97 in Falkland.

The searches, part of a special RCMP investigation that focused on one North Okanagan criminal organization producing and distributing marijuana, resulted in the arrest of a total of five people and the seizure of more than 3,5000 marijuana plants and associated marijuana production equipment.

Barrow also ordered Quoc Lam to forfeit money  and equipment seized from the case, as well as a weapon for disposal. He was given a lifetime firearms prohibition and also ordered to provide a DNA sample.

Thi Lam and Vo each pleaded guilty to one count of production of a controlled substance. Each were given 18-month conditional sentences, house arrest and curfews. Both were ordered to forfeit money and grow equipment seized from the case, and Vo was ordered to forfeit his interest of the Falkland property.

Both were given 10-year firearm prohibitions and were also ordered to provide a DNA sample.