Police and RSPCA officers entered a Deakin property in September concerned for the welfare of stolen, two-week old piglets heard squealing in the backyard, before finding a number of mature cannabis plants growing in a backyard shed.
Giving evidence in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday, police officers with the ACT Territory Targeting Team said they initially entered the property under the auspices of the Animal Welfare Act and found four young piglets and one older piglet, all described as undernourished and running freely around the backyard.
Police allege that the piglets were stolen from the Yarralumla Play Station on August 27.
Appearing before Magistrate Glenn Theakston was 39-year-old Owen William Van Duren, who has been charged with unlawfully possessing the piglets, as well as additional firearms and drug charges.
Mr Van Duren has pleaded not guilty to the charges and disputes that he resided at the Deakin address where the piglets were found, together with nine cannabis plants growing in what police officers described as a "hydroponics set-up".
Within a locked room inside a locked shipping container at the back of the property was found a metal-working shop. Firearms suppressors were seized, together with four firearms and other weapons.
Mr Van Duren had refused to sign a bail undertaking which included both the Deakin address where the illegal items were seized, and another at Yarralumla and told police he was able to provide evidence that he only lived at Yarralumla.
During hearings last year, a police bail consideration form had detailed how Mr Van Duren was wanted for crimes in the Northern Territory and had escaped from custody in Thailand after being charged with assault.
Mr Van Duren has been remanded in custody, with the hearing to continue on Wednesday.