Pubdate: Thu, 22 Mar 2007
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Dana Brown
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Cops Stunned To Find $11m Worth Of Marijuana In 49 East-End Apartments

Hamilton police say they've seized $11 million worth of marijuana 
from elaborate grow ops set up in 49 apartments in three east-end buildings.

It's the largest bust in the city's history.

Police swept down on Rita Court at 11 Grandville Ave. at 6 a.m. 
yesterday after getting a tip about grow ops. Each discovery led them 
to another apartment packed with dozens of plants and into two nearby 
buildings. By the time 14 hours had passed, police had spread their 
search into Silvana Manor at 50 Violet Dr. and Anthony Court at 77 
Delawana Dr., all just east of Centennial Parkway.

Detective Sergeant Dave Calvert of the vice and drug unit said last 
night there's no indication other buildings might have to be 
searched, but he couldn't rule it out.

"This is the first time in my experience that we've encountered 
something as large scale like this all at one time," said Calvert, 
who's been in the vice and drug unit since 1999.

Councillor Chad Collins, who represents the area, will move today to 
have public health and property standards officials visit the three 
buildings to determine how safe they are. Collins was told the $11 
million figure by police last night.

Collins said organized crime is being cited as behind the operation 
"because of the resources behind this. It was very intricate."

Some residents of the buildings reported seeing young men, possibly 
in their 20s, coming and going from the units. There's no indication 
anyone lived in them. No arrests have been made.

Anthony Di Cenzo, vice-president of Di Cenzo Management Inc., which 
runs the buildings, said they had no knowledge of what was going on. 
There was no abnormal hydro activity detected and there were no 
complaints about the apartments that he was aware of, he said.

But residents said they reported unusual activity and problems, but 
nothing was ever done.

Shoddy electrical work which increases the risk of fire makes grow 
ops and living near them particularly dangerous. Mould and other 
fumes can also cause health problems.

- - With files from Daniel Nolan
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