Pubdate: Sat, 16 Sep 2006
Source: Sault Star, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 The Sault Star
Author: Brian Kelly


Police seized more than 3,700 marijuana plants worth an estimated 
$3.7 million from three grow operations near Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie.

They found slightly more than 3,600 plants at two sites about a 
half-kilometre apart just north of Wawa near Highway 519. The two 
grow-ops were "quite away" from any residential area, police said.

A small grow-op between Fourth Line West and Maki Road in the Sault 
netted police another 100 small plants.

"It is a substantial amount of marijuana that would be removed from 
our streets," said Const. Al Montgomery of the Sault RCMP detachment.

No one was arrested. "There were no individuals observed in any of 
the areas that the grows were found," said Montgomery.

Two derelict trailers near the Wawa sites were likely used by those 
tending the narcotic.

"Where they were in proximity to the grow makes us believe they 
probably utilized that as some type of storage facility or a place to 
live," he said.

The marijuana was likely planted in the early summer and was in 
various stages of growth.

A dry summer, coupled with no mechanical water system, meant some of 
the marijuana plants "were of a little lesser quality."

"It didn't appear that they had been watered for some time," said Montgomery.

The marijuana, which likely would have been sold in Wawa and the 
Sault, was incinerated.

Ontario Provincial Police, Sault Ste. Marie Joint Forces Drug Unit 
and Ministry of Natural Resources joined the RCMP in Project SABOT. 
The project aims to find and destroy marijuana at the end of the 
growing season, before it is harvested. Tips from hunters, anglers 
and anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers helped police find the marijuana crops.

Technology also helps the public offer more assistance to police. "A 
lot of people nowadays even will carry personal global positioning 
systems with them," said Montgomery.

"They're able to walk into the area, take that reading and write it down."

All three sites were found Sept. 1 and 2.
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