A Point Cook man has been sentenced by the County Court to seven and a half years’ jail for cultivating more than 200 kilograms of cannabis between 2007 and 2013.
Salvatore Faro, 53, was found guilty by a jury of cultivating a commercial quantity of cannabis at Laverton and Sunshine West.
He was also convicted of firearm offences after police seized weapons and a silencer during a raid on his home in Boardwalk Boulevard, Point Cook.
Faro must serve five years before being eligible for parole.
In March 2013, police executed search warrants at adjoining factories at 77-79 Triholm Avenue, Laverton, where they seized 131 cannabis plants weighting 196 kilograms.
The factories, leased to companies associated with Faro, had a hole cut in the shared wall to allow unfettered access between them.
There were five separate “grow rooms” with a sophisticated hydroponic system using stolen electricity and water from a fire hydrant.
The crops were set up to ensure a regular cycle of about 20 harvests a year.
In 2009, Faro handed over the operation of the factory to another man for a $29,000 monthly franchise fee.
A company associated with a superannuation fund of which Faro was a trustee then bought a factory in Enterprise Way, Sunshine West.
This factory was used to establish a synthetic- grass business that did the occasional turf installation but was used to launder money.
Three grow rooms were established at these premises. This factory was sold before police could search it, but documents seized showed that the expected cannabis yield was 24 kilograms valued at $140,000.