Police tracking a stolen excavator found 67 marijuana plants growing in pots in a shed and outside on Macaulay’s Canina property.
Police tracking a stolen excavator found 67 marijuana plants growing in pots in a shed and outside on Macaulay’s Canina property.

Single dad had 67 marijuana plants growing in his backyard

A GYMPIE region man was caught growing more than 60 marijuana plants after police tracked a stolen excavator to his Canina property earlier this year.

Benajmen Jeffery Macaulay, 37, appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court this week on several charges dating back to 2018.

The court heard that on October 20, Macaulay, who was on a provisional licence, was pulled over on Tin Can Bay Road in Goomboorian for a roadside drug test, and was then taken to the Gympie watch house.

The results showed he had traces of meth and marijuana in his saliva at the time of driving, and Macaulay told police he had smoked a joint the night before.

Macaulay failed to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on January 15, 2019, after he had his matter transferred from Gympie, and a few months later, on April 10, he failed to appear again and a warrant was issued.

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On April 9, this year police tracked the GPS on a stolen mini-excavator to Macaulay’s 40-acre (16ha) property at Canina, and discovered several other suspected stolen items, including a trailbike and trailer.

Police detained Macaulay and searched the property which had two steel sheds; one contained a hydroponic set up with 32 marijuana plants, some up to 1.5m in length.

They also found growing chemicals, lights, pedestal fans, an electric timer and an exhaust fan in the shed.

Macaulay told police there were another 35 plants growing in pots outside in a wire enclosure, with a hose set up from a water tank.

In the other shed, police found a small clipseal bag containing crystal meth, a clipseal bag with 5g of marijuana, a metal grinder and a homemade bong.

Macaulay was arrested and taken to the Gympie watchhouse, where police discovered he was wanted on the warrant from 2019.

This week, Macaulay pleaded guilty to driving with a relevant drug in his system while on a provisional licence, two charges of failing to appear, possession of meth, possession of marijuana, producing marijuana, possession of items used to produce marijuana, possession of drug utensils and possession of items suspected to be stolen.

Macaulay, who is a single father, said the drugs were for personal use.

The court heard Macaulay had “gone down the wrong path” after his marriage ended, but he was now focusing on work and his son, and had moved in with his parents.

“It was just poor judgement, bad decisions,” he said.

Magistrate Chris Callaghan gave Macaulay a head sentence of eight months with immediate parole, and disqualified him from driving for three months.

Gympie Times


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