Pubdate: Wed, 09 Jan 2002
Source: Aldergrove Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Central Fraser Valley Star Publishing Ltd.
Author: Kurt Langmann


A contentious billboard promoting the legalization of marjuana no longer 
graces the rural countryside of Bradner.

It was removed by police on January 3 as "evidence" in a case being brought 
against six people allegedly involved in a massive marijuana grow operation.

At 2 p.m. that day, a search warrant was executed on the property in the 
4500-block of Bradner Road, resulting in the seizure of 2,982 plants in 
various stages of growth.

Six people were also taken into custody - four of them on the scene, and 
another two who were associated with the property in question - and have 
subsequently been released on appearance notices while the Crown prepares 
charges against them. No names can be released until the charges are laid.

Abbotsford Police Constable Shinder Kirk said the raid resulted from a 
year-long investigation, and was conducted by Abbotsford patrol officers, 
assisted by the emergency response team and the drug squad.

A large metal-clad barn was used for the grow operation, and Kirk estimated 
that the street value of the marijuana could be as much as $5- to 
$7-million annually. Kirk said it appeared that the barn had never been 
used for any other purpose, and may have been built expressly for the grow 

Kirk said the property owner was "upset" when he saw officers dismantling 
the large billboard. "He couldn't understand why we were taking it down," 
said Kirk, noting that it was part of the evidence against the accused.

The billboard has been a bone of contention among Bradner residents for the 
past few years, but Abbotsford City officials have been unable to have it 
removed under their bylaws.
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