A MAN who was found with almost 300 cannabis plants in a Rochester property has been described as a "low range" offender.
Vinh Quang Bui, 29, appeared in the County Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to two counts of cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis.
Court documents provided to the Bendigo Advertiser said police searched an Epping property, in Melbourne's north, on November 20, 2019.
At the property, detectives found 175 cannabis plants weighing at 129.35 kilograms.
There was also hydroponic equipment and an illegal electrical bypass at the house.
The documents said there was no one at the property at the time of the search warrant, but Bui's DNA evidence was found on items in the house.
Detectives then searched a property in Rochester on April 22 last year.
After forcing entry, police found a hydroponic set-up in six rooms on the property and an illegal electrical bypass.
There were also 292 cannabis plants weighing at 76.70 kilograms.
The documents said Bui, who was at the property at the time, tried to flee through a kitchen window and over a neighbour's fence.
Officers arrested Bui after they found him hiding in the bushes of the neighbour's front yard.
He initially told police he did not know what cannabis was, but later said he had used the drug before.
Defence counsel Malcolm Thomas told the court Bui became involved in the cultivation operation because he had a debt he needed to pay off.
Mr Thomas said Bui was at the "bottom of the chain" and he was a worker who was "utilised" by the other offenders.
The defence counsel said Bui, a Vietnamese citizen, was facing likely deportation as he was on a bridging visa.
Mr Thomas said his client had already spent 376 days in pre-sentence detention.
Prosecutor Jonathon McCarthy told the court Bui's individual culpability was "low range" given he was a "worker" in the operation.
Judge Duncan Allen adjourned sentencing for two weeks. Bui was remanded in custody.
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