Seniors snared in Little Fort grow-op

Clearwater RCMP raided the marijuana growing operation in August 2013

Cam Fortems – Kamloops This Week

One of two North Thompson Valley seniors busted at a marijuana grow-op last year is facing the prospect of jail, while the other has been given a six-month conditional sentence for her role in the rural operation.

Myrna Dundas pleaded guilty this week to possession of less than three kilograms of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

Crown prosecutor Anthony Varesi said Clearwater RCMP raided the grow-op in August 2013.

When Mounties entered an outbuilding, Varesi said, they found the 66-year old Dundas with scissors in her hand, trimming buds from freshly cut marijuana plants.

There were 150 pot plants in the building, part of what Varesi called a relatively small operation.

Donald Clarkson, 76, was the tenant of the property on Highway 5 in Little Fort, which is about 90 kilometres north of Kamloops.

Clarkson has pleaded guilty to unlawful production of marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking. He will be sentenced at a later date.

The minimum sentence is six months in jail.

Varesi and defence lawyer Bill Sundhu made a joint submission for a conditional sentence order for Dundas that includes an evening curfew.

Sundhu said Dundas was married for 25 years and raised two stepchildren with her former spouse. Sundhu said she is a pensioner with health problems and lives alone on a limited income.

“She’s been a hard-working and independent person,” Sundhu said, noting Dundas was visiting Clarkson and unwisely agreed to help him harvest the crop, what Sundhu called “aiding and abetting him.”

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jeanne Watchuk accepted the joint submission, giving Dundas a six-month conditional sentence.

During the first four months, she is subject to a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day. She is also prohibited from drinking alcohol.

“Ms. Dundas’ involvement was at the low end of the scale,” Watchuk said.