New Brunswick

Preliminary hearing set for 73-year-old accused of growing 485 cannabis plants

Seventy-three-year-old Lawrence Leger of Pointe-du-Chê​ne, charged with one count of producing cannabis, will return to court in April for a preliminary hearing.

Lawrence Leger of Pointe-du-Chê​ne returns to court in April on charge related to alleged grow-op

Lawrence Leger told court Tuesday he had to save money from his old age security income to pay his lawyer. (Pierre Fournier/CBC News )

A 73-year-old man arrested after police allegedly found 485 pot plants growing in a Pointe-du-Chê​ne house made a brief court appearance Tuesday on a charge of producing cannabis.

The court was told Lawrence Leger has hired a lawyer, who was not present in court.

Duty counsel Lise Landry said Leger chose trial by judge alone in Court of Queen's Bench. He did not enter a plea.

The Crown offered to hold the preliminary hearing on Jan. 22, but Leger asked for a date in April.

He told Judge Paul Duffie, he needed time to pay for the lawyer with his old age pension.

The drug charge was laid after police executing a search warrant said they found this marijuana grow-op. (RCMP)

The judge noted the Crown was ready to proceed in January but agreed to put the matter off until April.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 8.

On April 28, police went to the scene of a house fire in Pointe-du-Chê​ne, near Shediac, where they uncovered what they described as a "multi-stage marijuana grow operation."

Leger was arrested by RCMP after they executed a search warrant.