Dressed in camouflage, a retired City of Vancouver worker quietly tended to his crop at harvest time last fall.
Overhead, an RCMP helicopter noted what looked like a small number of marijuana plants growing on Crown land off Highway 99, near Lillooet.
The next day RCMP swooped in and arrested James Secord, who attempted to flee.
Crown prosecutor Anthony Varesi said police found 13 mature plants that would typically produce marijuana with a street value of about $3,000 to $4,000. Six were already cut down.
RCMP also seized a trail camera set up on a tree. On it were several images of Secord working his crop.
Secord, 68, pleaded guilty Monday to possession of marijuana. Judge Chris Cleaveley sentenced him to a $500 fine.
Defence lawyer Rob Bruneau said Secord is a retired heavy-duty mechanic who worked for the City of Vancouver. He moved to Lillooet to retire six years ago. He suffers from anxiety and arthritis.
"He finds smoking marijuana is helpful to him for those things," Bruneau said.
"He doesn't believe in buying it from the street. He's a strong believer he should be able to grow small amounts if the marijuana is for his own use."
Secord has no related criminal record.
Judge Cleaveley said the lower fine recognizes the man lives on a fixed income.