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Byron Shire
May 20, 2024

Roseberry Creek cannabis grown crop on ‘Sovereign land’ claimed accused

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A Roseberry Creek farmer jailed for more than five years for the commercial supply of cannabis claimed his crop was grown on ‘Sovereign Land.’

Arnfried Duden told police to get off his property when they went there to conduct a search in April 2015, claiming it was ‘sovereign land’ and they had no right to be there.

In a search of the 60 year-old’s farm, police found 133 cannabis plants in various stages of maturity and 108kg of cannabis in barrels on drying racks inside a shipping container.

When officers found Mr Duden carrying a small amount of MDMA (ecstasy) he claimed he was a self-taught homeopath who was given the drug to make homeopathic medicines.

A cache of weapons and ammunition, including three unregistered rifles, an unregistered shotgun, a taser, handcuffs and $25,950 in cash were found by police during a search of his bedroom.

In an interview with police, Mr Duden told them he had asked Centrelink to cancel his disability support pension because he was a sovereign person, but they refused.

‘He claimed he had pledged to use the money to support the Human Rights Movement of the Aborigines,’ police facts stated.

Later during the interview, police said Mr Duden claimed he had saved the money over many years to donate it.

When questioned about the guns and ammunition, Mr Duden said NSW law didn’t apply to him as he was a sovereign person.

He was arrested and charged with cultivating a prohibited plant, supplying a large commercial quantity of cannabis, knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime and possessing unauthorised firearms.

At Lismore District Court Mr Duden was sentenced to five years and 10 months jail, with a non-parole period of three years.

With good behaviour, Mr Duden will be eligible for parole on October 10, 2020.

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