Huffpost Crime

Michael Bennett Gardner Demands Harsher Sentence As Recognition For Marijuana Grow Op

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File photo.
File photo.

A man sentenced to 13 years in prison for growing one of the largest marijuana crops in Australia is demanding an even heavier sentence, claiming that the court should properly recognize his accomplishment.

Michael Bennett Gardner Sr, 58, pleaded guilty in March to one count of drug trafficking, according to the Courier-Mail. In 2008, authorities had seized 3.6 metric tons of harvested and dried marijuana, and 22,000 marijuana plants were seized from his property in Inglewood.

At the time of seizure, prosecutors estimated that the street value of the drugs at about $68 million.

Authorities also found a weapon arsenal that included 10,000 rounds of ammunition, according to Sunshine Coast Daily.

Last Friday, Gardner represented himself in court to appeal his sentence. He argued that he should be sentenced for at least 20 years. He said he was indignant that the court had not recognized the "full gravity" of his crop yield, the Courier Mail reported.

The court rejected the appeal.

Gardner, who appeared at his appeal wearing a T-shirt that read, "Abortion is Killing," stated back in June that he had been growing marijuana to raise funds for a national anti-abortion campaign. He said he felt it was his duty to "shock" Australians into "realizing what they were allowing," according to the Brisbane Times.

"I think for the law to allow [abortion] is abominable," said Gardner, who has nine children.

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