Pubdate: Fri, 28 Jan 2005
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.
Author: John Herbert


Police in Sarnia found marijuana with a street value of $3.4 million
when they shut down a grow operation in an industrial building
Tuesday, a Sarnia police spokesperson said yesterday. Sarnia police
and the Ontario Provincial Police drug enforcement unit searched what
they described as "an industrial building" in the city's south end.

Two Sarnia residents are in custody.

Const. Bill Baines said about 2,800 marijuana plants -- seedlings to
full grown plants -- along with 13.6 kilograms of dried marijuana
ready to hit the streets were found in the building.

Baines said police, who were still at the site yesterday removing
dozens of pieces of growing equipment, discovered lights, irrigation
equipment and air exchanges valued at $75,000.

Undisclosed cash also was found.

Baines said the drug find was one of the largest in the history of
Sarnia police. The investigation began several weeks ago with a tip
from Crime Stoppers leading to the raid.

"It wasn't just something that came to light overnight," Baines

Police are not disclosing the owners of the building or exact
location, he said, adding, "It was not a derelict building."

The building was located on the fringe of what is known in Sarnia as
the Chemical Valley industrial area, he said.

Baines said some plants were one metre tall.

"They (drug dealers) try for continuous turnover so they always have
plants on the go," he said, explaining why some plants are mature and
others seedlings.

There is no indication the marijuana operation had cross-border
connections, Baines said.

"I haven't been told of any relationship to the border,'' he said.
"I'm sure more information will come to light, but the guys (drug
officers) are still disassembling equipment -- there's a lot of it.''

Douglas Bingham, 35, and Sarah Shipley, 23, of Sarnia are charged with
production of a controlled substance for the purpose of

They are scheduled to appear in Sarnia court today.

Meanwhile, Sarnia police also revealed yesterday in connection with
the drug bust, they executed search warrants Tuesday at two residences
just outside Sarnia. Police said a small amount of drugs and other
evidence related to the growing operation was found. Police would not

No arrests were made. 
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