Central Kootenay RCMP seized over 550 marijuana plants last week. (Stock photo)

Central Kootenay RCMP bust two marijuana grow ops

Local RCMP busted two marijuana growing operations last week, seizing more than 550 plants.

Local RCMP busted two marijuana growing operations last week, seizing more than 550 plants.

On Tuesday, Sept. 12 the New Denver Detachment of the Central Kootenay RCMP executed a search warrant at a property on Hwy. 6 near Winlaw. More than 400 “very large” marijuana plants were seized, along with marijuana bud and various marijuana products, and one woman was arrested at the property.

Police were investigating and will be requesting charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

Then on Friday, Sept. 15, the Nelson Detachment located a grow operation on Crown land near Crescent Valley. More than 150 marijuana plants were seized and two men were arrested while harvesting the plants.

RCMP say both men were released from custody and will appear in court at a later date.

Sgt. Darren Oelke of the Kootenay Boundary Regional Department was personally involved in both busts and says the plants are destroyed as soon as possible, save for a small sample.

“We take samples for analysis at our lab and then the bulk of the plant is destroyed,” he said.

The RCMP reminds the public that production and possession of marijuana is still illegal in Canada and it needs the public’s help “to eradicate marijuana grow-ups.” The RCMP encourages the public to report suspicious activities to local police or to Crime Stoppers.

“We’re still enforcing the marijuana laws and we’d like the support of the public,” says Oelke. “There’s a lot of people out there that are pro-marijuana but there’s a lot that still don’t think it’s proper.”

Oelke says marijuana busts are down from last year and attributes the decline to fewer reports from the public.

He says people should be aware of “anything from smells of marijuana in their neighbourhood, suspicious activity at residences, people being secretive, to hiking on the mountainside and coming across plants or water lines or meeting people in the bush that seem out of place — you know, they’re not there for a normal hike.”

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